Good networking is a key skill for any staffing and recruiting professional. Networking is going to help you grow your most valuable leads, form alliances with other entrepreneurs, grow the platform of your business, and even rake in the referrals. However, aside from getting out there and meeting people, you need to make sure you’re handling your networking opportunities as effectively as possible.
Here are a few tips to help you make the kind of impression that you need.
Bring value to the relationship upfront
When you’re talking to a business owner, investor, or a potential lead, it’s always good to think from a perspective of “why would this person want to talk to me?” Find an answer and you can demonstrate the value of knowing you. For leads, this might be easy. With active listening, you can discover more about their wants and provide a potential solution through your business.
For other industry professionals or referrals, you might want to position yourself as a staffing industry leader, ensuring that you’re getting inspired insights and data that can help you demonstrate some authority and reliability, making them more likely to want to partner with you in the future.
Make the right impression
People will form opinions of you within the first minute of meeting you. You can change this opinion, but it will take time and work. As such, it’s wise to work on your introduction and your pitch and to be ready to present yourself and your personal brand. Having a good knowledge of business etiquette, making sure you’re presented appropriately for the occasion, and having a memorable business card design will all help you make that good first impression.
If it’s your first meeting with someone, take the time to get to know them, remember them, and ask questions about them. Don’t just launch into talking about what you want from them or what you could possibly do together. That can be a big turn-off.
Join online events through the ASA
Network with industry leaders at the American Staffing Association (ASA) events and local chapter meetings and make connections with your peers on ASA Central, the industry’s largest online community. Members post discussions daily, tap into ASA webinars, legal resources, best practices, and more to develop new ideas and share knowledge and discover solutions.
Don’t forget to follow up
When you’re networking, you shouldn’t be chomping at the bit to get into business arrangements, cross-promotions, or to convert new customers. You want to take the time to let it cook, to let them form their impression of you, and develop the kind of trust that can lead to fruitful professional relationships. However, that doesn’t mean you should let them forget you when you say bye, either.
Make sure to save any contact information you get with a contact book app or to keep their own business cards close. Then send a follow-up email that either thanks them for their time and encourages further communication or even continues a conversation you had while meeting.