4 Steps to Great Networking
4 Steps to Great Networking – Charles Clark
By Charles Clark
1. Talk Enough
Small talk is good especially with introductions. You have to think of it like dating a female or male. The first date is smiles and getting to know each other” not proposing or marriage. Causal is the best, unless they ask you to elaborate.
The story I’ll never forget that will save you the embarrassment. I was being introduced to the director of a Foundation that will remain anonymous. The environment was chaotic; the organization had deadlines to reach by the end of the week, and it was an unannounced appearance making waters very murky! I should have scanned the situation and made my best chess move. Instead, I went on in a 30 second rant and discussed how we could potentially partner together. I made no mention of how I could assist them and I never got a chance to hear what positive things they had to say. It didn’t end well. I was put in my place by a shark.
You’re the expert when it comes to your product but some people just don’t know you! Connecting the dots in order are essential and will have you days or weeks later eating lunch with the CEO and Director discussing how you can help one another.
2. Have Expectations
I’m not an over-the-top networker but if I’m ever in a building or event I tend to walk away with 2-3 solid connections, intentionally. Networking is not a race, be a tortoise. If there is no rush, cheers to a good night! Why, because when you follow up with an email, 24-48 hours later, you’ll have concrete mental reminders other than the guy with the red bow tie. Being genuine and connecting people with people makes you a winner!
For some people, talking can be difficult but the secret is when you decide to open up, captivate attention! Covey with passion; business/networking does not have to be so serious. Smiling, laughing, joking, appropriate hand gestures, and coming to the party knowing what’s going on in the world will have people shoulders pointed in your direction. It will also have individuals asking you want you do, and how can he or she be a part of it!
Let’s be clear you don’t want stand out because you’re in the wrong attire! Simple is ok, but having a memorable shirt, tie, or shoes is icing on the cake! And might I add, since I’m a bachelor, women love men who have style and a clean cut. If a male or female aren’t complimenting you on your attire, it’s time for renovations! The business world is competitive so what makes your brand zing? The way you dress and your business cards will attract the clients or investors you desire. Being cheap never wins but investing in quality is insurance to a better life-style and associations.
4. Social Media Matters
Even if you’re balling and have time on your hands to turn up, business leaders and entrepreneurs need to have social media presence. Nine times out of ten, if your hyping yourself up to what you claim to be, people will search to check the legitimacy of what you bolstering about. As a matter of fact, I had plenty of people do it right in front of my face. Low in behold, they’re turning their phones showing me my Wikipedia page, which is not a trusted source.
Old fashion branding alone will not win in today’s markets. Companies that have been in existence for years are making adjustment that are connecting with people, like Wells Fargo. With that being said, we have to actively connect with people by posting, sharing users post, liking photos, commenting, or asking questions under their status.
Most people that are connected with me on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram know I’m a USA sprinter, and have a foundation that helps the youth and young adults. We help them define their purpose, optimize their talents and effectively impact the world through program and events. So just posting events, foundation information, etc. can get old! Instead, I work on connecting with one individual at a time and/or providing something beneficial to them. This will get individuals talking to you and about you. Have a plan to post, like, and share an X amount a day will have a facet return on the energy poured into social media; which will bring more traffic to your website and business!
About Charles Clark
Charles Clark, current world-class athlete and business executive, is an experienced motivational speaker, and conquering professional business leader. Voted Nationally Top 25 Businesses by Wells Fargo Project Contest. Follow Charles Clark on social media @CharlesClarkUSA