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Business Networking Principles: 12 Key Essentials of Effective Social Networking

Business Networking Principles Analysis: 12 Key Business Networking Principles for Social Professionals. We’ll talk about Business Data Communications and Social Networking.

Business Networking Principles: 12 Key Essentials of Effective Social Networking. In order to break through the glass ceiling and reach gender equity, there are several key strategies that women professionals must adopt. One such strategy is networking.

As we all know, there is no doubt that women, like men, need others’ help to achieve our goals. Very few of us have gotten where we are in our careers without someone’s assistance. Honestly we must admit that we may have been hired for a job because of whom we knew. And for us women entrepreneurs, much of the business we receive is through our personal contacts.

Business Networking Defined

So what is networking? According to ‘The Networking Book’ by Jessica Lipnack and Jeffrey Stamps, ‘Networking is people connecting with people, linking ideas and resources.’ The book ‘Power Networking, 55 Secrets for Personal & Professional Success’ states that networking is not:

1) Selling; 2) Using people for your gain; 3) Coercing or manipulating someone to do what you want; 4) Putting friends, neighbors, associates on the spot; or 5) Badgering people about your business.

12 Key Business Networking Principles

Based on these definitions, what should women professionals keep in mind when networking? The following three principles should guide every woman’s networking approach:

1. Make networking a part of your written strategic marketing plan.

Determine your business/career focus and your target market. Decide on where you can meet/interact with them. Then set timelines and allocate money to join organizations and attend business functions to carry out your relationship-building activities in a planned fashion.

2. Work an event, not just a room.

Just as the Chicago Bulls didn’t win six championships just by how they “worked the floor,” you also won’t get the full benefits of networking just by working a room. Learn what to do before the event, during the event and after an event. Develop a winning attitude (this is a worthwhile event for me to attend!) and continue to hone your communication skills so you can execute well throughout the process. A master networker is a master communicator.

3. Make a professional first impression through your appearance and demeanor.

People decide 10 things about you within 10 seconds of meeting you. Decide what impression you want to make and then how to make it through the colors and styles you wear, your posture, handshakes, eye contact and facial expressions.

4. Create a 10-15 second verbal business card filled with benefits of doing business with you.

It should inform others about what’s in it for them and entice them to want to talk with you more. Save the “who you are” and “how you do it” for later in the conversation.

5. Adapt your verbal business card to a short e-mail signature to continue to establish your brand.

Conduct your own ongoing public relations campaign by continually reinforcing your marketing strategies.

6. Start conversations with open-ended questions to avoid the “Yes” and “No” scenario that soon causes your conversation to run out of gas.

If you want to start with a “yes or no” question, have several open-ended ones in your back pocket. Bonus: Ask questions that will carry the conversation and provide you with important information simultaneously. 7. Be prepared with small talk about your industry and timely topics. Men, move beyond your big three: sports, business and current events or, as some women would say: sports, sports and more sports. Women, prune your hundreds of topics to those most suitable for the occasion. Both sexes: Be willing to bend and flex, depending on the occasion.

8. Follow my 10-minute rule for working a room.

Since networking is planting seeds, not sales (which is harvesting), keep your interactions to about 10 minutes per person. That’s ample time to make a positive impression and decide if the person is someone with whom you would like to build a relationship. It’s okay to plan endings just as you plan openers so that you can gracefully exit.

9. Follow up and never fall back.

Whether it is to acknowledge your initial encounter, set up a breakfast or luncheon meeting or share an article or a contact, do what you promised to do. You will immediately stand out from the pack when you do what you promised you would do. Choose the vehicle (e-mail, telephone, handwritten note) that you think best fits the other person’s behavioral style.

10. Give without keeping track.

You will be rewarded ten-fold. People who understand this premise are the ones who truly benefit personally and professionally from the networking process.

10. Establish Relationships with Business Network

When trying to ‘connect’ with people, try to find areas of common interest –issues, ideas or activities that you share in common with the other person. Effective networking is not a ‘one-shot’ deal. True network management requires establishing a long-term relationship with someone. And the best way to do that is to find out about that individual on a personal and business level.

11. Be Honest about Your Intentions

State why you are contacting an individual for help. Do not say you would like to conduct an informal interview if you are actually trying to get a job offer from the meeting rather than information. Your honesty will result in people be more willing to assist you.

12. Reciprocate

Business Networking is not a one way street. So if someone has assisted you, make it a priority to help her down the road. However, do not expect something for someone just because you did something for her. Sometimes that person may not be in the position to help you. However, personally I believe that if you help someone out of the goodness of your heart, it is the ‘order of the universe’ that someone will help you one day. And remember, it has been said, that it is better to give than to receive.

Completely updated, the best–selling business networking reference returns. The eighth edition includes the changes necessary for the fast–paced networking environment. While technologies and applications change rapidly, the fundamental concepts evolve much more slowly; they provide the foundation from which new technologies and applications can be understood, evaluated, and compared. The new edition features a chapter on wireless LANS, an expansion of the security chapter to include more on security design and new technologies, and more coverage of technology design material on network design including a selection of technologies and best practices for network design. This book is the market leader known for its technical accuracy and cutting–edge orientation.

Business Networking Principles: 12 Key Essentials of Effective Social Networking. These twelve key principles have one common element – treating people with respect. By applying these principles, we can enrich our lives professionally and personally. Editing by Alice Yang

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