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The most important part of networking

28.10.10 | Posted in Networking

I’m always so surprised when I meet someone, we have a great connection, they tell me they’ll be in touch, and then wham – nothing.

It surprises me because the hardest part of networking is actually starting. It’s the getting to the event, or organising the get together. The rest is quite easy.

I’ve had so many situations where I’ve spent a flight next to someone and they’ll be telling me about a problem they’re experiencing, or about someone they need to meet in a certain industry, and I’ll offer to help them out. I give them my card and tell them to be in touch with me.

Same goes for networking events. You get along really well with someone and you know that you can help them out heaps (and they know it too) but then they never take it a step further. Business cards and smiles are exchanged, but it’s a wasted opportunity as they never do anything about it.

The most important part of networking is to follow up – to take the conversation to the next level – to build the relationship. I’ve found a good way to do this is to diarise some time after networking events so that when you get back to your desk, you’ll be reminded to follow up.

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12 Comments

  1. Ali Isaacs

    You have amazing stories and I love reading your blog, there’s always something that I can identify with …thanks Chief Chick!

  2. Roniece

    Lovely Emma,
    I agree with Ali.. you do offer some amazing insights, love reading you, love you!
    Bisous
    RDB xx

  3. Jess

    So true Emma – any practical tips on making this actually happen? I’m new the business networking world and finding this a struggle – how do you make yourself stand out amongst the crowd and memorable when this person is potentially meeting 30 new contacts at a conference for example?

    I think we need a book on little tips for networking!!

    P.S. BIG fan of your blog!

  4. Monica Robinson

    Hi Emma

    I totally agree! Thank you for the reminder not to waste opportunities. And also a big thank you for coming to Adelaide, being able to listen to your stories and advice was truly beneficial for me. I also shared your links on my blog, I hope you can check it out sometime. I would love your feedback!

    Warm regards
    Monica

  5. Janine

    Emma – too right. Anyone can swap business cards and offer to keep in touch – the key to great and effective networking is to take that next step and make the call and also to always give something back, not just take, take, take. You never now where the relationshio may take you.

  6. Paula Kelso

    Once again you are so right, I think it takes confidence for some people to approach others, even when the opportunity presents itself.
    Emma your blogs really helps in those circumstances.
    I CANT WAIT FOR THE NEXT ISSUE OF LATTE AS I AM IN IT!!!!!
    This is a prime example of follow up because you never know what can happen, Thanks Emma

  7. Nina

    Hi Emma,
    I participated in the Networking Webinar you did with SmartCompany today and was thinking when you were talking about the blogs you read for inspiration that this one might inspire or at least interest you.

    http://www.escapefromcubiclenation.com/2011/10/05/my-favorite-blog-posts-from-the-last-6-years/

    I have been following these blogs for years and they give me such a boost with fantastic advice and a real kick along, just when I need it.

    I hope you find it interesting and inspiring too.

  8. Emma

    Thanks so much Nina for the tip – I’d not read any of Pam’s work and have just spent the last 30 mins of her blog – it’s wonderful, thank you again. Thanks also for being in on the webinar today – hope you had as much fun as I did.