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Networking – Ancient Science or Modern Art?

business_dealNetworking is one of those terms that either strikes fear into those that don’t know its benefits, or it will be seen as a great opportunity by those that have mastered the key skills needed to make networking successful. Whether you fear it or want to hone your mastery of it, the article titled “The simplexity of networking” in the current issue of Company Directors magazine authored by Ricky Nowack, shows you how to make the complex simple – hence the “simplex” buzz word in the title.

The article opens with two key statements being that businesses should include an element of networking in their business plan and that businesses should not see networking as all too hard. Nowack also points out that networking can make you and your business go from “being one of the same, to being one of a kind – the kind others want…”

Another tip for successful networking, and one that most people tend not to do, is to ask for what they want, instead leaving opportunities unspoken and the other party still not knowing there was even something on offer. As the article says – “go by the premise that if you don’t ask, the answer is always “no” and ask away!”

To find networking opportunities, it is recommended to activate conversations with current contacts i.e. – let them know what you are looking for and mine opportunities this way. In addition, the article mentions opportunities can be mined from “invisible networks” these are the networks of people within your networks that you currently don’t even realise exist. This can be summed up by the saying – one open door opens another.

Before a networking event, Nowack suggests that it’s best to do at least some basic research, which could be who is attending and if there is a certain business or individual you wish to network with then research them directly, potentially as simple as either a Google search or using LinkedIn.com.

Closing out with a networking plan, the article provides 16 tips ranging from the simple and introductory – such as giving some information about yourself before asking for information, to strong opportunity seeking tips like – “not being reluctant to ask if people know any others that may benefit from your services”. While some of the tips are focused more on professional individuals seeking boardroom placements, the majority can be tailored to suit most networking situations.

Whether you have actively participated in regular networking or just know that you should start networking to help generate opportunities, reading this article and some basic research before any networking event will certainly assist in making networking be “simplex” for you.

TMS Consulting regular holds business and networking events for clients and the general business community. To register your interest in attending these events contact TMS Consulting at solutions@tmsconsulting.com.au Alternatively, practice those networking skills and follow TMS Consulting at www.LinkedIn.com

To view the article “The simplexity of networking” please see page 50 of the May 2011 edition of Company Director magazine available from the Australian Institute of Company Directors at www.companydirectors.com.au.

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Isabella Lanceleaux