Networking is critical for success in a business environment, and WISE always provides networking time at events. How can you utilize this time to successfully network and build relationships with other WISE women?
First, be genuine. Be yourself. Don’t be afraid to show your personality. People are more likely to trust you when they feel you’re authentic, and trust is the foundation of any good relationship.
Second, know your goals. Why are you networking? What do you hope to gain from the relationships? Having goals will help you set a plan and you can target the right groups and the right people in your networking efforts. It’s also important to be able to articulate your goals to others. If someone asks how they can help, be able to state it in a clear and concise way.
Third, volunteer. You’re benefitting from the organization; now it’s time to give back and support a group or organization that has supported you. In addition, volunteer positions are a great way to stay visible and at the top of everyone’s mind during the event.
Fourth, spark a conversation. Open-ended questions and interjecting stories help build and foster relationships. You wouldn’t ask potential friends yes or no questions when you get to know them; treat networking the same way and get to know people. Listen to people’s responses and show genuine interest in the conversation.
Fifth, remember that networking is a give-and-take. You’re forging relationships and making connections, and along the way someone could help you out in some way. It’s important to always give back and provide the same assistance to those that have helped you – and others! Pay it forward.