One of the largest obstacles to tackle in networking is the natural, self-conscious concern of rejection. “Why would someone take the time out of his or her busy schedule to help me?” is a question most newbie networkers ask.
Networking is a critical component of continued business success. Important to remember are a myriad of reasons those you seek may be more than happy to talk with you. Here is a handful to consider:
- Value-adding info – Don’t underestimate the value you may bring to your prospect. As the old adage goes, it’s not what you know but who you know – and that includes having a network on hand with expertise and experience beyond one’s own. Think about the valuable and current information, skills and connections at your disposal. Find a way to present them in a helpful – but not boastful – manner.
- Giving back – Chances are, the person with whom you’re speaking was on the receiving end of a helping hand on his or her way to success. It’s human nature to want to reach out and help someone where we can, especially if that individual is in a situation that seems all too familiar.
- Managing talent – Regardless of what a company’s current situation, savvy managers always keep an eye out for talent, whether that be in prospective future hires, consultants, or vendors. If you have interest in moving to a specific company or industry, it never hurts to get irons in the fire sooner than later so you can transition to your future dream job. Often jobs will never post – or post for a very short time – because contacts of current employees apply first, thanks to having an in.
When preparing for a networking event, be sure you spend time outlining the value you bring to the table. That way, when you walk into a room of prospects, you’ll have the confidence to present yourself as deserving of anyone’s time and attention. Confidence is magnetic, and it will go a long way in drawing people to you, opening the door to unknown possibilities. Remember to smile!