Supporting Others = My Success

Experts agree that the most well-networked people 
are often the most successful people.
Networking, by definition, is a deliberate activity to build, reinforce and maintain relationships of trust with other people to further your goals.
When building relationships and developing influence, having a dynamic professional network can be what gives you the competitive edge. 
Did you know that 1 in every 4 people 
do not currently network at all?
This means if you are intentional in your approach towards building your network, you already have done more than one-quarter of people. The following "Simple Networking Tips" are keys understanding to The Art of Relationships and Influence. 
Here are a few simple tips to make the most of your next networking event:
Before the event:
- Practice Your Pitch
- Make it interesting and engaging
- Create an opportunity for a two-way conversation - not a long-winded monologue
- Be Purposeful 
- Know what you want to accomplish by attending this event and prepare yourself for it to happen
-Take steps to make it happen when you arrive at the event (i.e.have the organizer introduce you to the specific person  you want to meet)
At the event:
- Get There Early & Offer To Help
- The early bird gets the worm. Arrive early to meet the organizers,  speakers and other guests
- Offer to help; there may be an opportunity for you to help the event be successful while also building your network such as helping at the registration table or being an event Ambassador -   both are great opportunities to meet people and learn more about them without "selling" anything
- Make It About Them

- If it is stressful to you to not know anyone at a networking event, you are not alone. Try making it about someone else and reach out to the next person you see standing alone at an event and see what  happens. Usually what begins as two people feeling awkward and uncomfortable, not knowing anyone, becomes two people, (usually more as others are welcomed in), getting to know each other, finding out what they have in common and building a bond of "safety" in an otherwise stressful moment.

- Exit Gracefully

- You have a purpose for attending this event. You owe it to yourself to accomplish that purpose, so you must learn to exit gracefully when you find yourself in a conversation that drags on and on (and on and on). My advise is to politely ask for their card and invite them to meet someone else you know or met earlier at the event. Ask if they would like to connect on social media and join your network. Then graciously excuse yourself and get back to accomplishing your goals for the event. 

After the event:
- Be The Follow-Up Master
-Many professionals neglect this step in the networking process and essentially waste the time they spent attending the event. Don't let this be you. Within 24 hours, reach out to each contact via handwritten card or digital email, connect with them on social media and initiate one-on-one meetings with those you would like to know better. Set yourself apart by being consistent and intentional with your follow-up methods.
Taking time to build and maintain your dynamic network is a key to The Art of Relationships and Influence.
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