7 Ways to Bulk Up Your In-Person Networking

7 Ways to Bulk Up Your In-Person Networking

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

People seem to be afraid of networking. They have many excuses to avoid it.

  1. We are connected on (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, the Mafia). Why do I actually have to speak with them?
  2. You want me to what??? Don’t you know I don’t do that!!!
  3. It will just be a meat market
  4. In-Person networking doesn’t work!
  5. I thought people stopped doing that in the last century!

Networking Etiquette 101Yet in-person networking remains vibrant today whether you are a small business owner, a job hunter or a member of some affinity group that brings people together.

Attending networking meetings provides increased exposure, knowledge, leads, suggestions and ideas to help you become more effective in your professional life.

The big mistake people make when they think of networking is that they think if they go one time, suddenly, the seas will part, the heavens will open up, their business or job leads will explode and it will be incredible.

Actually, no one expects it to be that way. They expect to attend a meeting and no one will talk to them, they will “hug the wall” and waste their time. And they will be right. After all, who wants to help someone they have met once? Who goes out of their way to help that person?

I will give you a clue. It is either everyone or no one. OK, you figured it out.

A woman I coached started to regularly attend networking meetings for her profession. A reliable senior manager, she felt stuck. “I like going home at the end of the day,”

“Who doesn’t,” I replied. “Your second job is finding a job and in your part of the country, you need to rebuild some of your relationships in order to have someone bring that next job to you. Wouldn’t you rather have that happen than apply online?

“Duh!”

Most people hate cold calling. Networking helps to create warm calls out of cold calls. Networking is like breathing is to your living. You can have a career but without it, your career will die off.

Stupid Networking Mistakes: No Patience

Here are 7 things to do before you go to your next networking gathering.

  1. Bring business cards. If you don’t have them, order them. Don’t make them bland and boring. Let them have some personality.
  2. When you attend a networking meeting, be prepared to present yourself in 45 seconds TOPS! “My name is Jeff Altman. I coach people and organizations to play BIG and be more successful. I am trying to connect with people or businesses who need an extra set of eyes and ears on their situation—an ally who can help them now and for years to come. Again, my name is Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter. Coaching you to play BIG!” 45 seconds.
  3. Bring a brochure, flyer or resume depending on whether you are arriving as a job hunter or business owner.
  4. Care about others and what they need. If you are only focused on yourself and your needs, you won’t create a relationship. Instead you will be seen as a taker. People give to people give. Give more; get more. In New York, we used to say people hate mooches.
  5. Wear a smile on your face and be friendly instead of making sure the wall remains upright. Trust me. The wall will remain upright without you leaning on it.
  6. Collect business cards from people you meet. Follow up with people after the gathering. “Hi! I’m Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter. I’m the coach you met the other night at the meeting. Do you have time to speak now or would it be better if we scheduled time on another occasion? I want to get to know you and see how I might be able to help you.” Trust me. Almost everyone knows you will want to be helped, too. When you have the more in-depth conversation, be prepared to talk about who you might want to meet.
  7. If you decide to join the group, find a way to volunteer. In most cases, volunteering doesn’t take much time and it makes you visible to other members and attendees.

Networking will make a difference throughout your career, particularly when you don’t need to networking. Start meeting people and start getting out and about!

 

© The Big Game Hunter, Inc. Asheville, NC 2017, 2023

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ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER

People hire Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter to provide No BS Career Advice globally because he makes many things in peoples’ careers easier. Those things canJeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter involve job search, hiring more effectively, managing and leading better, career transition, as well as advice about resolving workplace issues. 

He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with over 2700 episodes. 

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You will find great info to help with your job search at my new site, ⁠⁠JobSearch.Community⁠⁠ Besides the video courses, books and guides, I answer questions from members daily about their job search. Leave job search questions and I will respond daily. Become an Insider+ member and you get everything you’d get as an Insider PLUS you can get me on Zoom calls to get questions answered. Become an Insider Premium member and we do individual and group coaching.

You can also have your #jobsearchquestions answered Tuesdays at noon Eastern. Search for Career Coach Office Hours on LinkedIn and mark that you’re attending. You’ll have access to the recording if you miss it live. 

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Schedule a discovery call at my website, ⁠www.TheBigGameHunter.us⁠ to discuss one-on-one or group coaching with me

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