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4 Tips For Growing Your Professional Network Quickly
Sean: Hey guys, welcome back to the show. It’s me again, Sean Si, Mr. CEO at 22. And today, we will be talking about how to grow your professional network.
We’ve all heard the saying, “Your network is your net worth.” True. False. What we cannot argue about is it’s so valuable, especially if you’re running a business or an organization or if you need something and you know someone. There you go. Network is extremely important, not just in work, but in life.
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First thing that you need to do is go to networking events. Be open to going to networking events. And the best ones are, of course, face-to-face now. In light of the pandemic, I suggest that you follow protocols. Wear face masks, have your rapid test or antigen test before you go there.
And make sure that the event is a safe space, meaning they test people before they go in the event place or if it’s a big event space and you’re not packed in quite closely with other people.
Networking events are extremely valuable because you meet new people and there are people there who are willing to introduce you to some other people. Now, why are they going to be doing that? They’re going to be doing that if you
So, for example, whenever I go to networking events, I introduce myself. I ask them what they’re doing. And this is the other thing that you have to do to grow your network. Talk about them, don’t talk about yourself first. When they ask you what you do, that’s the only time you talk about yourself.
But what I usually ask is, “Hey, what do you do? So what is your work? What’s your profession? What’s your business? What’s up with you today? What are you working on?” Those are the questions that I usually ask when I’m networking.
And other people would talk about what they do, what their business is, and of course they’re going to want to return the favor. Not all the time, but most of the time, people also ask me what I do if I haven’t been introduced yet.
If I haven’t been introduced yet, usually the other person would ask me what I do as well. I cannot express how important this is and how many clients I have been able to close and how much revenue I have been able to make just by attending networking events.
I am a JCI Manilla member and it is something I’m very proud of because we do a lot of nation-building projects for our country. And being part of JCI Manilla, we do have networking events where, if you are someone who is recognized and you get a good reputation and people introduce you to other people.
Now, what kind of networking events should you attend? Is there some specific category that you have to be attending or is it just attend each and every event that you can? I would suggest that you cherry pick the events that you want to attend.
Networking events where you know you will learn something new, or networking events where you know you could get a lot of potential clients, or networking events where you know you can get a lot of potential suppliers, those are the events that you go to because you can’t attend them all and you have to also use your time wisely.
How I pick my networking events is I want to make sure there is one or two people there that I know, preferably part of the organizing team, so that they can show me around and introduce me to people.
If not, then I will choose a networking event where there are a lot of potential clients for me. And I go around. I introduce myself. I ask people what they do and I get to know a lot of people.
Now, what happens after you get to know people, you get to shake their hands, get their email address, calling cards, mobile numbers? What you should do is follow them up, text them, call them.
Say, “Hey! This is Sean. I hope you remember me from last night’s event. I just want to say thank you for meeting me there. I just want to say thank you for the value you provided for me. If there’s anything I could do for you, just let me know I’m always here. If you recall, this is my business. This is what I do and if I could do anything for you or your business or your work, just let me know, I’m just call away.”
That is so valuable because people don’t do that in networking events. And if you are someone who does that, who remembers, and follows them up the day after, that is so valuable and you will leave a lasting impression.
Sean: What you want in networking events is a long term relationship with these people, a long term and a deep relationship. Don’t just go around trying to go on speed dating in the networking events, building shallow relationships, that’s not going to take you anywhere.
You’re not going to close any deal. You’re not going to get any good suppliers from doing it that way. Instead, go deep, figure out a few key people that you’ve met who you know you can provide value to or who can provide value to you. Call them. Follow them up.
I remember there’s one crypto event that happened just recently and I attended that event because one of the people who are speaking in the panel section is a really good friend of mine. He’s the one who fixed our network here in the office and he’s going to be speaking in that crypto event because he is very much into cryptocurrency.
He invited me, gave me a seat at the VIP table. I went around meeting people, saying hello to old friends. And in that specific networking event, I was able to sit beside a significantly well known celebrity here in the country.
And before the event I actually didn’t know who she was. But after I spoke with her, I asked her a few questions. “Hey, how were you able to get into this event? Who invited you? How are you into crypto? How’s your investments doing?”
We actually kept in touch, and now we’re talking about more investment opportunities that we can get into. That is something so simple but so profound because you meet really good people in some networking events.
Again, choose the networking events that you’re going to be going to. I went to that event because a good friend of mine was speaking and he was willing to give me a seat on the VIP table and he showed me around and he introduced me to a lot of key people in that event.
So I hope that short story has provided some insight on how valuable networking really is. Don’t be afraid to go out there, introduce yourself, talk about people, ask them how they’re doing, what do they do. That is something that is going to help you in the future and it has helped me tons.
So my challenge to you for this episode is list down at least three networking events this year and there are so many if you’d just look on the internet or on Facebook events that you plan to go to and commit to going there and meeting at least three new people.
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Hope that helps. Again, this is Sean Si. I hope I provided value for you today and I’ll see you in the next episode.