For many people, the thought of networking is fearful. It should really be a positive experience.
Below are five ways to overcome your fear of networking:
1. Networking is a process, not a transaction - The act of networking is often misunderstood. Networking is really about building mutually beneficially relationships. When meeting someone for the first time, you need to get to know one another before you ask for anything. So, you should refrain from selling your products or services during this first encounter. Rather, get to know people, follow-up, and assist one another. The sale will then happen naturally either with the person directly or through a referral.
2. Be fascinated with learning about others - We all come from different walks of life. We can learn from one another. When meeting people and getting to know them, take an interest in their backgrounds and lives. It is fascinating to learn about people. You never know where you will find synergies. The more you know about others the deeper the relationship can become.
3. Take satisfaction when connecting others - As you get to know people and their needs, you will realize that you can connect various people together. One of the most powerful ways to build up your network and personal brand is to make introductions. When synergies exist between others make introductions. Both parties will appreciate the introduction and will make introductions to you as well.
4. Build a diverse network - One of your greatest personal assets is your network. Take time to build a diverse network of people from diverse backgrounds. You never know when you will need to reach out to someone for expert guidance or a referral.
5. Have fun - Meeting and connecting with others can be an enjoyable experience. Be creative and find new ways to meet the people who you are seeking. With technology tools, such as LinkedIn, there are many ways to connect. You never know what opportunities will present themselves to you.