Studies show that a majority of jobs are found through networking. Even if you’re not looking for a job, successful people didn’t get to where they are today without forging meaningful connections and partnerships with others.
I know – networking is easier said than done sometimes, especially if you’re not the most social person. Thankfully, there are some brilliant networking tricks that can make this ever-necessary skill painless for anyone.
Here are some brilliant networking tricks you need to use:
Show up early
Showing up to a crowded event and seamlessly merging into a group of people deep in conversation is intimidating for just about anyone. That’s why Wendy Gelberg, author of The Successful Introvert: How to Enhance Your Job Search and Advance Your Career, recommends showing up early as one of the brilliant networking tricks you need to use.
That way, you’ll meet the few early stragglers who will be eager to come up to you and network. By the time the party gets started, you’ll be the center of the conversation!
Act like you want to talk
Often, our default reaction when we have no one to talk to at an event is to bury our noses in our iPhones and pretend we’re busy. The Wall Street Journal totally recommends against that, because it makes you appear completely uninviting and unapproachable.
Instead, you should simply act like you want to talk to people. Have inviting body language, and smile instead of squinting at your Twitter. Even if no one talks to you, they’ll be happy to strike up a conversation if you make an effort this way.
It’s a two-way street
A common mistake that most people make is approaching networking as a key driver of sales. Sure, the ultimate goal of networking is to connect with people who may be able to help you reach a particular goal. Networking, however, always starts with giving.
Focus on providing, and this will ensure that you establish real connections. If you want to build strong bonds, you’ll need to invest in relationships–so give without expecting much back in return at first.
Do you have any networking tips? I’d love to hear them!
For more advice on being successful in business, check out my column for Inc. Magazine.