Networking is defined in the dictionary as a supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and groups having a common interest. Networking is seen as one of the most fundamental ways to build relationship and increase business. There will certainly be plenty of networking on this week in Leeds during Leeds Business Week.
Earlier this year, I joined SCE Solicitors, a Leeds law firm which specialises in Employment Law and HR. This was when I was introduced to the world of networking.
The main way to network is to attend a networking event. There are a few around including BNI, the Chamber and 4N. I would suggest trying all three to see which suits your preference, they all have a similar format. There are also one off events such as conferences.
So how do you network? Firstly, you have to be clear about what message you want to send and who you would like to speak to. You will usually get a list before you attend so you can see is there is anyone you particularly want to speak to.
At most of these events you will be expected to give a pitch of around 60 seconds. You should include your name and what you do. Create interest by including a story or testimonial. Then should explain what type of people you are interested in speaking to. Lastly, don’t forget to include a memory hook, something catchy for others to remember you by.
In general, I have found it’s about being yourself and it takes time to build relationships. You will be very lucky to strike that elusive deal with someone you have just met. Overall, I look forward to networking, it is a great opportunity to build your own confidence, as well as business and friends.
Please let me know about your own networking experience on twitter @WarrenMooresSCE or by commenting on my article.