We have all heard that networking is the way to get new business, get a new job and do just about anything else that requires another human being. Having a strong backing of people who either have similar goals or who have strengths that we lack sounds really good, but this can be hard for many people to accomplish. You can build a backing if you take the time and polish your people skills.
• Create a short commercial for yourself that highlights what you do and if you are a salesperson, what your wares can do for the other person. You should practice giving this short pitch until it sounds natural and conversational.
• Your handshake says a great deal about you; so make sure it is a good one. Your handshake should convey confidence so it should be firm, but do not squeeze their hand off.
• You should make appropriate eye contact with everyone you meet. This also conveys confidence and lets the other person know that you are paying attention to them.
• You should ask the other person questions and really listen to the answers. Many people do not listen to what other people say because they are too busy planning what they are going to say next. You should really listen to what people say to you and then say it back to them in your own words to confirm that you understood their message.
• Find something that you have in common with the other person and draw on that to strengthen the connection. You should also try to mirror their speech patterns and voice level. This puts people at ease and will help them relax and open up to you.
• Make sure that your business cards are up to date and look professionally done. When you hand out a business card make sure you get the other person’s information as well, or you will not be able to follow up.