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Tried and tested networking tips for your business

Learn how to earn trust: Don’t go to an event thinking that the next person you shake hands with will be your ‘mark’, your next job, your...

Learn how to earn trust: Don’t go to an event thinking that the next person you shake hands with will be your ‘mark’, your next job, your next customer or client. Learn how to earn trust and credibility and let time take its course. 
Don’t network without a goal: Do you want advice? Do you want a job? Do you want an introduction to a prospective client? If so, what kind? When do you want it? Get specific. Networking is a great way to get what you want, but it is important to know what that is.  

Develop and practise: Don’t murmur on when you deliver your verbal business card or your personal branding statement – your response to the question, “What do you do?” Develop and practise a crisp, interesting and memorable answer whenever you are approached.

Online networking cannot replace offline: You can start business relationships online, but it’s only when people read your body language, smile and shake hands that they really want to do business with you.

Don’t be desperate: Desperation repels success. People can smell desperate networkers or job seekers a mile away. They can smell fear and panic in you and it is a most unattractive quality. Snap out of it! It’s critical that you regain your composure, centre yourself and come from a place of strength and abundance whenever you network.

Don’t focus on differences: Search for a common ground in conversations. It may take a while, but there is surely something to bring you closer.

Don’t bug people: Accept the fact that not everybody is going to warm up to you. Jus leave such individuals alone and move on. 

Don’t talk about yourself too much: People are not always impressed by the answers you give, but rather the questions you ask. Spend 90 percent of the time talking about them and the rest about you.

People can smell selfishness: Don’t just show up looking for hand-outs. Listen to those you talk to. Strive to help those within your network. Add value.

Be genuine in your request:  If you ask for a coffee meeting, don’t simply ask to ‘pick their brain’ or ‘see if there is any potential in you getting to know each other’. It only shows you have a vague idea of what you would like to talk about. Instead, introduce yourself; show that you have specific knowledge of the person’s work, offer why you would like to talk, and propose potential times. Be clear when requesting a meeting. - Online Sources   

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