Power Networking Tips From Our Superstars
One of the natures of the beast in our industry is getting out there and meeting people. That’s why Paragon Executives makes learning the art of networking a big deal in our training program. We want our people to know how to connect like the aces they are, both for our company and for their own career ambitions.
Too many people think of networking as something professionals do when they’re ready to make that next move. That’s really not the time to start building a contact list. Instead, wherever we are in our careers, we should be thinking about how to meet others and form power relationships that will go the distance.
To become expert networkers, Team Paragon Executives heeds the advice of well-heeled pros who have made it their business to know how to make friends and influence people. Here are just a few of the best tips we’ve picked up from them:
Know How to Spark a Conversation
The biggest challenge when meeting new people is knowing what to say. Learning how to make small talk is an art form in itself. The best cues are usually something around you. If you’re at a conference, ask about what they thought of the speaker or even food at lunch. At a fundraiser, comment on the centerpieces or prizes up for bid. Avoid explosive topics, especially politics and social issues. While they might start a lively debate, it’s playing with fire when you’re trying to make new friends.
Most of us don’t realize it, but when we’re focused, we tend to scowl a bit. Even if they do it, too, others might get the impression we’re unhappy and avoid us. So, get into the habit of smiling, even when you’re just doing something like typing or washing dishes, so that it becomes your normal resting face.
Ask, Ask, Ask
Here’s a cool thing about meeting people for the first time – you don’t have to do all the talking. In fact, just keep asking questions until you find the right place to dive in with a valuable add. Trust us, you’ll be remembered as a great conversationalist without saying much at all.
Now, once you do meet people, you want to stay in touch. Follow Paragon Executives on Facebook to see how we move networking from first meet to bona fide connections every day.