One door closes, but two other doors open. That’s how the saying goes; however, often, when networking, it may feel like many doors are being closed and few are opening. By using a few key strategies, you can actively ensure that so many doors are opening that you are constantly introduced to new opportunities.
By maximizing your communication with potential clients and target markets, you will open several doors and in so doing, build greater opportunities for your business and for those on your network.
1. Social Networks
LinkedIn is a great website! You can create a professional profile and take advantage of strategic features. Three that I recommend are as follows:
1. Get your profile to 100% as quickly as you can. There is a bar on the top left which indicates how close you are. Things such as adding your current status, adding previous employers, etc. will get you closer, faster.
2. Continually connect with and add people to your network. If you are out networking, shaking hands and meeting new people, you are starting the momentum to growing your connections and inviting professionals to your LinkedIn account.
3. Get recommendations from friends and previous employers. This will add credibility to your profile and add interest for your growing connections.
As you meet new people and attend various events, it important to keep the connection moving forward. You can do this, for example, by placing a simple phone call and saying something such as, “Hi John, this is Jim Pagiamtzis. We met at the International networking show last week. So I recall you said you had worked in the insurance industry…”
Through this simple conversation, you did a few things including reminding him where you met and remembering what business he was in. You are also letting him know that the connection was important to you. From here you could talk about his industry and make recommendations that could assist him, such as ideas to increase his referrals.
You can touch base again and again, making a similar call, and each time solidify your ongoing relationship with the contact.
Email is an effective communication tool for basic communication, but it can also be an effective tool for creating interest and keeping people updated.
The key is creating pro-active emails. You can discuss relevant articles you’ve read, industry news, or use the tool as a means of recognizing achievements by people in your network.
Remember it’s not only about you, but the success of everyone in your network.
Jim Pagiamtzis is a published author, writer and entrepreneur who has written for the Toronto Public Library and spoken at various venues such as universities, Enterprise Toronto and Initiative TO. Popular topics include How to become a Networking Success and How to attract Mentors in Business Life and Achieve Success. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.