The thought of networking can be intimidating, awkward and unpleasant. Yet the ability to connect with other professionals and make a positive impression is not only important for your career, it can be fun and exciting if approached with the right attitude.
There is no better time than now to spice up the process of connecting by building relationships that can lead to new business, job opportunities and even friendships. Remember networking is about the follow through, building trust and longevity, not the “one night stand!” as you can find on sites like www.hdpornvideo.xxx and others. My friend was telling me about how he fostered new business relationships through initiating conversation with a video business card from elev8. Everyone has their way of making networking exciting!
I am one of the few that actually loves networking. I love helping people, learning about what they do and figuring out how I can be a resource for them. At Quest Workspaces we have learned that being a “matchmaker” for our clients, by making quick introductions to hosting mojito mixers, is as valuable to businesses as providing professional administrative office support services. If you see networking as self serving then that is what it will be, if you approach it in a positive, giving way the experience will be more effective and “feel good” too!
Tips for fostering more successful “hook ups”:
Be charming and approachable
This is so important, and we have all heard the saying “people want to do business with people they like.” So when given the opportunity to connect; be likable. If you find that challenging or you are not quite sure what I am talking about then read Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”
“Hooking up” should not be one-sided
Be a resource to others, understand their needs by asking open-ended questions and then listening. If you approach networking as how you can help others rather than what you can get out of it, you will get much further.
Start with the base hit; don’t go straight for the home run!
Building relationships take time, and you need to be respectful and build a bond over time. Do not jump right in and ask for help, you may come across as insincere and pushy.
It’s not how many relationships you have, it’s the quality of the relationship that mattersWe have all seen the “turbo connectors” attending events-spending no more than one or two minutes jumping from guest to guest, and collecting hundreds of business cards in a single evening. They then load the names into a database and regularly send usually annoying emails. These “players” give networking a bad name. I have found that it is better to invest time and effort into fewer connections (quality, not quantity) in which you have identified ways you can help each other. You are going for the deep meaningful relationship not the shallow, superficial playing the field approach.
Dealing with Rejection
If you follow up and do not get a response, then maybe “They’re Just Not That Into You” or maybe they are just busy! It is OK to be persistent to a point, change it up, maybe drop in to talk face to face, use humor, but whatever you do not take it personally if they do not respond-there are plenty of other fish in the sea!
Nurture the relationship
Make it a point to follow up with a brief email and do it with personality. The best correspondence is directed, relevant and with purpose, and it helps anchor the previous interaction. Make it a priority to reach out to new contacts on a regular basis. Recognize their achievements, offer assistance when appropriate and remember that all good relationships require attention.
If you follow these tips you may actually become a world class “lover “of networking! Happy Hook ups!
About the Author
Laura Kozelouzek is a recognized leader and veteran of the executive office suite industry and has more than 20 years of experience in the commercial real estate and hospitality management fields. She is viewed as a visionary business builder for her ability to create a “high energy” results-oriented workplace culture.
In July of 2010, Kozelouzek created Quest Workspaces opening its first location in a prestigious landmark building in Miami and successfully expanded to 11 locations and counting including a center on the 43rd floor of New York’s iconic Time Life Building and other spaces in Boca Raton, Brickell, Coral Gables, Doral, Ft. Lauderdale, Stuart, Vista Park, Wellington and West Palm, Florida. Quest counts a number of legal professionals among its tenants.
Kozelouzek was named a “2007 Commercial Real Estate Rising Star” by Real Estate Weekly magazine and was named a finalist in New York Enterprise Report’s “Small Business Awards” in the leadership category. In 2013, Quest Workspaces was recognized by SmartCeo Magazine as one of the “50 Fastest Growing Companies in New York City”; Quest was honored by the South Florida Business Journal as “One of the Best Places to Work”; Laura was acknowledged by the South Florida Business Journal as one of the “Most Influential Women in Business” and a Quest was a finalist for “Start Up of the Year” in honor of H. Wayne Huizenga.
For more information, visit questworkspaces.com.