You already know that networking is vital for business growing and expanding. But what’s next? I will not be starting this article by saying that the best way to learn networking is to DO networking (all about that here ). Let’s talk about practical methods to increase your NQ (networking quotient) or how to learn best business networking practices.
Lucky for you it is possible to learn different networking techniques, overcome your fears, boost your confidence and achieve success. When developing any skill, it takes consistency and diversity. The best results will come from utilizing any and all available sources at a steady pace.
- Keep on learning
Free and paid educational portals like Udemy.com or Futurelearn.com are a great source of on-demand information on any subject including business and networking. Courses normally cover topics like the following: how to create a simple and smooth introduction, or how to overcome nervousness about meeting new people.
It is a good idea to check with your community in college, they may offer courses that don’t require a full-time enrollment and will allow you to network with other participants while studying (kill two birds with one stone!).
- Keep on reading
There are plenty of books that cover how to learn networking. These are some of them for you to start with:
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
Business Networking for Dummies by Stefan Thomas
Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi
Go Pro: 7 Steps to Becoming a Network Marketing Professional by Eric Worre
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Don’t forget about networking blogs like 100AM.
- Keep on listening
Podcasts are a great tool when it comes to growing yourself as a networker. Portals like Business Networking with NRG or Unleashing The Alpha Networker offer short tidbits of information that are easy to tune in to on the go or during a break those are the great tools how to learn networking.
- Keep on checking
There are many components for a successful networking game. Here is your how to learn networking checklist:
- I understand why I need to network (set goals)
- I have a compelling 30-second elevator speech
- I have marketing materials like business cards, brochures and a website, which clearly states my area of expertise
- I ask more questions than talk and take time to get to know the people I meet
- I have engaging stories to tell
- I practice win-win philosophy both in business and personal life
- I dress according to the event and plan my outfit in advance (more tips here)
- I am calm, cool and collective
The key to successful networking is to keep in mind that it is a work in progress and no great results can be achieved in one event. You’re working hard on advancing your skills and building real, deep relationships with your professional contacts. Take it slow and good luck!