In any business culture there’s always a need to build TRUST first. So there is always a need to get to know people first then we can really do business.
So the reason social networking is important is to build this bridge between you and your audience. At some level you need to be connected before any transaction could be made.
So where does Social Networking occurs. My definition will be very simple.
To be at places where people ARE such as Meetings, Social Functions, Dinners, Events, Seminars and so on. Online it will be at social network sites, forums, blogs and so on.
Offline Social Networking
There is a reason why we should have namecards with us all the time as it also gives us the opportunity to tell people what we do whenever we go to such Networking events, weddings, previews and so on.
Tip: As long as there are people, there will be opportunities
You will never know who will end up there. It might be the old folks and you will always see new faces too. Hence the ability to go up to anyone and talk to them is also important in this area. It will also be good to tag along with friends who can introduce to you the people there.
This brings me to the subject of Edification.
It is much more powerful when someone refers you to another person rather than you do it yourself.
Why? Because if someone is referring you it also means they are RECOMMENDING.
In a way this will help to uplift a certain barrier that gets you connected faster with the other party. This also means that it is also important for you to bring someone along to such functions. So that you can be good at introducing your friends to people. When you do this to others, people will do it back to you. Its KARMA… What goes around comes around.
The old guns or people already in your list.
There are also times that you end meeting the same old guns over and over again. I would advice you to take up the opportunity to get updates from them because everyday we do different things and we meet different people. Hence just go them and ask them about their day to day things and find out what’s new. You never know what you can do for them to help them solve their problems, through that instantly you spot opportunities.
I also read this somewhere before. Keep giving the cards to that same person at least 6 times to get them to remember you. I usually forget the people I meet at functions. Seriously. But when you go to other functions and see them again, you will always go -” I have met you somewhere before right? Ok here’s my card again”.
Group people up
It is always good to mentally group the people up as you can know that this is the market for this and this is the market for that. Groupings can come in the area of expertise, area of work, the dynamics and so on. So through your face to face conversations, try to dig information like “What they do..”
So in anything there is actually the fundamental reasons of doing such activities.
To sum up here are the points
1) Be a part of a networking environment
2) Learn to talk to people
3) Bring a friend along
4) Developed a way to recommend your friend, vice versa
5) Introduce yourself at least 6 times
6) Classify the people you meet
Alright we’ll see how similar all this are to the online social networking scene.