Central London & The City

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Networking – don’t switch off

Mon 19 March 2012

When watching a school play, the most amusing part of the experience can be watching the back row of the choir or the extras milling around between scenery – those kids that seem to think because they aren’t speaking that no one can see them. It’s a classic misconception that little children have when it comes to performing, ‘if I’m not speaking or in the scene then I can do what I like.’ It’s a very dangerous misconception; unfortunately acting in this manner can bring even more attention to yourself!

Now you’re probably wondering what this has to do with networking – the same rules apply. Just because you’re not in what you would consider to be a ‘networking environment’ doesn’t mean you should switch off.

Networking can happen at any time and in any place – most people tend to do something for a living and the majority are looking to improve business. Every person you meet, impress, disappoint, talk to or ignore you should consider as a potential client. Now this isn’t to say that every time you step out the door you should have business cards in tow, but it should remind us that we are always on show. Just because you’re not looking to network doesn’t mean that people aren’t looking at you, noticing you or remembering you.

Sometimes social occasions are when the best networking can happen, a room full of people who have different skills and expertise that have time to chat….sounds ideal!

There is obviously a fine line between making the most of your situations and being a workaholic bore. This is where social media comes in handy – there’s no need to harass potential contacts about business, for example, at the touchline of your sons football match. Instead – why not follow them on twitter when you get home, or connect with them on LinkedIn. This way you’ve made the initial contact, allowed them to enjoy their afternoon and allowed for business to be discussed at a more convenient time.

Make the most of every situation and remember that sometimes the best things happen when you least expect it!

 

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