It's not what you know, it's who you know. That phrase is truer than most of us realize. Everyone you ever meet, from classmates and coworkers, to managers and customers, is a potential addition to your network. That's why it's important to always take the extra step, and to make sure you approach every interaction like it could be a game changer. Because you never know, it might be.
3 Networking Tips to Grow Your Influence
Tip #1: Offer to Help
There are few better ways to get your foot in the door, and to make a good impression, than to help someone out. Perhaps your company has a popular blog, and you offer to interview a potential client on it? Maybe someone you've dealt with is having a special event, so you boost their signal on your company's Twitter page. If you help people, they'll remember that, and it buys their goodwill. This makes them more likely to return the favor, when they have the opportunity.
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Tip #2: Always Say Thank You
Remember when you were a kid, and your parents made you sit down after every gift-giving holiday to write thank you cards? It was a chore then, but it instilled a valuable lesson; people like being thanked. It makes a good impression, and it can be the think that gets you remembered fondly. Whether you're working with a publisher, endearing yourself to a client, or wrapping up an order with a materials provider, always send a thank you card. Or at least an email. It goes further than you know.
Tip #3: Always Be Ready
The best opportunities will come out of nowhere, which is why you need to be ready for them when they show up. Maybe you're being introduced to your partner's college friends, and you find out halfway through the evening that they work for a company you'd like to tie-on with. Perhaps you're at a convention, and you strike up a conversation with someone looking for the exact skills you have, or product you sell. Every meeting has the potential to drop opportunities right in your lap. Will you be ready to catch them?
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