Networking 101

I wanted to write a useful blog post about my experience so far having attended over 200 networking events.

I would like to mention that I love networking events. It’s actually my favorite thing to do in the whole world which many people would say is strange but I do feel an awesome connection with people I meet at networking events.

These are my takeaways so far.

BNI(Business Networking International) helped me really be able to practice my elevator pitch. For some of you who is not familiar with BNI it a networking group that meets once a week every day from 7 am to around 8:30 am. I was a part of Chapter 16 in Manhattan. It has taught me really to be able to be comfortable with talking about your business and what makes you different. I have met so many interesting people attending all of the different BNI groups out there.

Networking is a long game. You can’t truly expect to see the benefits until much later on because of the simple trust factor. People need to have patience and understand that trust takes time to build. The key to making meaningful connections is just be yourself and always be taking the time to get to know the person and why they are at this networking event. With consistent follow-up and just being generous with everyone by helping others, you will start to see referrals come your way. They say “givers gain”. Adam grant’s Give and take was a really interesting book that talks about the most successful people in the world are the ones that service the most people. Oprah and many other billionaires owe their success to just being able to provide value to everyone. Whether it’s your cashier at your local supermarket to your doorman. You should treat everyone with the same amount of respect.

It interesting when I reach out to influencers and they actually give me time to help me out or give me advice. It’s fascinating how altruistic people can be in life, I mainly leverage Linkedin and other social media channels.

I am extremely grateful for Linkedin for allowing me to connect with so many people I would have never dreamed possible to speak to.

A good piece of advice I read online was that treat everyone’s business cards with respect and have one pocket for your cards and one pocket for other people’s cards.

I am also a part of another amazing networking group called Ivy which is the best networking group I have been a part of so far. Everyone has the common goal of wanting to meet other interesting people. They do a great job at selecting a wide variety of people that are genuine and have a cool story to tell.

I think curiosity plays a huge role in being an awesome networker. Not being afraid to ask for introductions to other people if you see they are connected to someone you would like to speak to.

There are people that are serial networkers like myself who spends a huge part of their lives networking. It is interesting to see in a huge city like NYC you still get people that seem to know everyone.

Being able to follow up is extremely important as well. Once you collect the business card’s you should send a follow-up requesting coffee with the person if you truly do want to get to know them better.

Be persistent. Depending on how high up the person is, you may have try multiple times but people will get back to you eventually.

Being able to an active listener and have great questions; always asking how can I help you? Like I have mentioned being of service to someone else is the greatest value added you can provide. People will remember that and it will come around to you one day.

I am truly blessed to have met so many interesting and ambitious people throughout my lifetime. I love going outside my comfort zone and really getting to know what people are passionate about and how people get to where they are today.

Let me know what you think are attributes of a good networker.

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