|Effective networking is among the most important and beneficial endeavors for sales professionals, but for many of us it is also among the most difficult and uncomfortable. This is especially true for self-proclaimed introverts who can find such events overwhelming. In a recent blog on bostonglobe.com, Harvard Business Review and Dorie Clark share terrific insights for more effective and less painful networking. Here are highlights from the article, On networking, know what’s right for you:Create your own events.
If “boozy harbor cruises or swanky parties” are not your thing, consider creating your own preferred networking environment by bringing together interest groups in a setting of your choice.
Not a morning person? Then large-scale networking breakfasts probably aren’t your best opportunity. Consider your own personal strengths in choosing the networking events worthy of your time.
“Every networking event should be subjected to a cost-benefit analysis: if you weren’t here, what would you be doing instead?” writes Clark. Not all networking events are created equal, and quality is definitely more important than quantity. Too often, we attend networking events so that we can check it off our list. “Ask yourself who is likely to attend, and whether they’re your target audience,” says Clark.
“Alternating between social and quiet time enables me to be at my best when I do interact with people,” writes Clark. If networking is emotionally draining for you, be sure to schedule these events such that your energy is charged, and you have time to recharge afterwards.
Clark points out the need to change our perspective on networking. “We need to start saying no to torturing ourselves in the belief that it’ll ultimately be good for us.” Find or create the type of networking events that are enjoyable and worthwhile for you, and you’ll find future networking more enjoyable and productive.
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