Imagine being at an event filled with 50 brilliant minds from diverse backgrounds and various fields of interest, while looking for a new job or the next big opportunity to progress your career.
linger with people you already know and avoid introducing yourself to anyone new, or
make the effort to get to know people you’ve never met?
If your answer’s the latter, you’re well on your way to opening doors to the right opportunities.
But if you – like many of us – identify with the former, it’s highly likely you’re missing out on that chance to meet someone who could refer you to the right job there and then. In spite of that, we fail to take advantage of such valuable networking opportunities that are so readily available to us.
More often than not, introductions and conversations are a great way to create new opportunities and meaningful relationships. A 30-minute conversation with the right person can shift the trajectory of your career or even your life.
Remember that maintaining and building relationships are like gardening. Your plants (relationships) need constant care and watering (touch points) in order to flourish.
And making each relationship meaningful requires thoughtful and sincere exchange of value.
If you’re wondering how to turn relationships with newfound contacts into meaningful ones, here are some easy pointers:
- Learn and remember names (tip: use the name a few times during the initial conversation to fix it in your memory)
- Establish a mutual point of interest by finding things you have in common
- Send informal notes to confirm meetings
- Follow up with a breakfast or coffee meeting to stay in touch
- Share ideas and possible contacts that would help the other person’s business
- Forward articles on topics you think will be interesting or useful
- Invite contacts to social events attended by other friends and associates
- Make some type of ongoing contact every four to six weeks once you’re comfortable having them become part of your long-term network
So, keep watering those seeds that you’ve sown and watch them grow!
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others.” – African Proverb