What follows here are some simple tips on what you should be doing when carrying out your networking duties.
1. Ask fantastic questions during the conversation
If you find yourself in a discussion with someone who is interesting and may indeed prove to be a good contact for the future, it is essential that you do not allow yourself to fall into the trap of only discussing how good you are yourself. Self-promotion is fine up until a certain point, but after this it does become rather tiresome and will make the other person lose interest. Instead, look at asking good questions that are either related to a particular topic, a hobby, ideas, or anything that lets them see you have an interest in them. By failing to ask the right questions, you can make the wrong impression and this is certainly something that must be avoided.
2. Be both interesting and interested
Being a bore is a sure way to turn people away from you or they are likely to take your card out of politeness and simply throw it away. Having an interesting conversation and interacting in a way that shows you are genuinely curious about various things will give you a much better base to build upon. You can also quickly move from being complete strangers to basic acquaintances this way.
3. Learn how to use keywords and subtle comments
Whilst blatant and constant self-promotion is frowned upon, you can still manage to work in some facts and figures about your business and what you do without it just being all about you. Instead, think about certain keywords that can be put into a conversation naturally as they will start to register in the mind of the person you are talking to and they will also help them to remember you in the future. The key things to mention include clearly your name, company name, your aims, or the products or services you offer. However, you should never just throw this information at them or they will tend to switch off and not listen to you. Finally, do consider telling them about some achievement or perhaps something humorous as all of this will help when it comes to them remembering you.
4. Listen to them
It is impossible to stress enough just how important listening is to the other person as you will learn so much about them that may prove to be useful in the future. By doing this, you may be able to learn about their interests or goals and they may tie in perfectly with your own ideas. This will then give you something in common upon which a relationship can be built. You may even be able to pick up on a problem which you can help on which could be mutually beneficial for the two of you. So avoid becoming absorbed in your own story and pay attention to what they have to say.
5. Put in the effort as you will get results back
In order to get the most out of networking, you must be willing to put in some effort into the relationship before you start asking the other party for anything. Before seeing what they can do for you, try to offer them something that you believe will be useful such as a particular website they may like or a contact you have that could help them out. A person is more likely to give you help if they see that you can indeed be a valuable resource for them.