Six tips on networking from the industry experts!

14 July 2010 By Northern Lights

Six tips on networking from the industry experts! image

Nafisaby Nafisa Shafiq, Intern at Northern Lights PR

Another week of the internship has passed and this week the session that has interested me most was based on networking. I’ve not had any ‘real’ experience of networking, and Victoria Tomlinson’s do’s and don’ts have all been useful.

In general, like many others I believed networking was all about me.

Selfish? Yes!

But honestly, I thought that networking was all about getting ‘me’ out there.

From what Victoria said, this is not the case. Networking is all about engaging with others, finding out what others do and how they can be helped. Many aspects of this do come with conversation, but just like any assignment or exam, research is necessary.

Here are 6 tips that I took away from Victoria’s session:

1. Show your personality when you are talking to others – it’s important to let others know who you really are. This helps them to remember you.

2. Deliver what you promise – if you’ve told someone that you’re going to do a task, do it! It always leaves a positive impression.

3. Before meeting others, research them. With social media and the internet this is something that can be done easily and shows others that you have a real interest in them.

4. Think ahead – the research will help you to think about the questions that you can ask others. And helps with the conversation too!

5. Be proactive – follow up with the people that you’ve met and activities that you are aware of or have been involved in. “The earlier, the better!”. This shows that you genuinely care and are interested.

Which leads on to the final tip…

6. Everyone you meet gives you something whether it be knowledge, contact or referrals – “don’t dismiss anyone, ever!”

Following Victoria’s session we all met Paul Dickinson, the UK’s Managing Director of The Alternative Board and Andrew Palmer, Regional Director of the CBI. Both provided us with their insight into networking.

Their departing words were to:

Do something YOU enjoy!

Do something YOU find rewarding!

The words ‘be passionate’ were also used throughout the day. Something I believe is key.

What do you think? Are there any tips that you would recommend? Or even not recommend?

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Written by Northern Lights

3 Comments

  • I’m delighted to read that the internship is going so well! I was once given a useful networking tip; try and remember two facts about any new person you meet – one work related and one personal. It’s really helpful when you are trying to introduce people to one another.

    “Victoria, this is Sarah, she runs an internsip programme for ethnic minorities”

    “Sandy this is Chris, he has a love for contemporary ballet”

    It gives them a starting point to get talking so there are no awkward silences.

    It also means that when you see an article on their interests you can cut it out and send it to them with a note to say it made you think of them. You are much more likely to stick in their mind and be remembered if you do thoughtful things like that.

  • Thanks for sharing all of those thoughts Nafisa. I would add to this that it is important to broaden your scope and to get to know people just out of interest. Use every opportunity to talk to people and you will be amazed what you find out and who you get to know. One of the most interesting people I know was someone I met on a train. Curiosity is a great gift and I always like to exercise it!

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