Networking with professionals in your industry

Networking with professionals in your industry

As a business professional, one of the things we can do to make an impression and grow is to network. Networking is a great thing to do because it allows you to form bonds with other people in your industry, gain advice and inspiration, and lift your business up to the next level. Here are some of the ways you can nail your networking this year.

Make a good impression

The first thing you need to do when you are trying to network with professionals is making a good impression. If you are going to a trade show you can hire some exhibition stand builders to help you create a unique and brilliant stand which will draw people to you from day one. When people see you, smile, be friendly and be positive.

Aim high

Get the idea out of your head that you cannot talk to a CEO because you are not at their level. This isn’t the case, and no matter what position people work in, you are all people and you are all working in the same industry. Carry yourself with confidence and grace and speak to people like this because it can give you a huge sense of confidence for the future.

Find a common interest

If you want to connect with people and form a great relationship with others in the field, you need to find ways to keep the conversation flowing. If you can find a common interest which you both have, this can be a great starting point and you will be able to make conversation about this subject more often to gain that connection. Ask if they have children or what their favourite sport is. Think about any events or TV shows which are on at the moment and ask about those. When you make this connection you will find it so much easier to make friends.

Offer help

Find a way to offer your assistance to the person you are talking to. If you are able to offer help in a field you are good at, you will show to the other person that you are kind and that you are generous. By helping and solving an issue you will make a good impression which will last and this can be a huge benefit to you both. They will trust you and they will likely come to you in the future and ask you for help again.

Be interesting

Find something about you which is unique and use it to make people impressed. If you have a skill or a hobby which you are great at, make sure to drop this into the conversation and this will give you more depth and mystery in the other person’s eyes. You will suddenly become a much more intriguing entity and this can make a bigger impression on them than anyone else will. You will be remembered for your quirks and this can build up your relationship, and therefore you will be able to thrive and connect.

Photo by Louis Smit

Christine Buske is a former academic who left science at the bench, and now considers herself a woman in tech. She is a frequently invited speaker, and enjoys talking about career transformation (particularly leaving academia for the business world), tech, issues around women in tech, product management, agile, and outreach. She is a proud Canadian resident, and qualifies as a "serial expat".

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