Go to networking events expecting to have a positive experience. As with any sales strategy:
If you think networking is a bad idea, you will prove yourself RIGHT.
Always act like an equal – because you are. Sure, some in the room make more money than you today, but real wealth is measured by what you are and not by how much you have. I know that sounds hokey, but it is still true.
You can act your way to better feelings, but rarely can you feel your way to better actions. Repetition is the mother of skill and competence. Feelings follow actions and behavior. Do not wait to network when you feel like it, or you may never get rolling.
Far too many professionals never network enough to develop the confidence that comes with experience. They do not go through the networking process enough to get comfortable.
Don’t feel that you’re good at conversation?
Ask great questions and listen
Also, start reading for thirty minutes a day. Take in all the information you can. Read anything and everything so you can carry your share of the conversation.
Live in a hockey town?
Read the hockey scores even if you don’t know the meaning of a hat trick (Google it). Pull your conversational weight.
Knowledge about many issues and trends makes you more interesting. People coming in contact with you will more likely want to associate with you if you are well-read and knowledgeable (as long as what you are well-read and knowledgeable about isn’t just TV Guide and the National Enquirer).
Your local newspapers
Your local business journal
Your industry trade journals and newsletter
Publications that relate to your personal interests and specific industry.
Magazines: Fast Company, Time, Newsweek, Selling Power, Fortune
Contributed by: Dean Lindsay, Award Winning Speaker and Author of The Progress Challenge & Co-Author of Stepping Stones to Success