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Giles Cadman is Chairman of The Cadman Capital Group, a group of cohesive, complementary companies,
operating in the international trade, retail, leisure and investment markets.

How to Network like a Professional

How to Network like a Professional

Date: January 14th, 2016 Author: Giles Cadman Categories: Business, Entrepreneurism, Networking for Entrepreneurs

Networking can be downright terrifying for many new entrepreneurs. However, I speak from experience when I say that it does, in fact, get easier as time goes on.

As a serial entrepreneur, I’ve done my fair share of networking. I have written on ways to make it easier and more beneficial to your business, but my views on networking have slightly changed over the years.

Networking can feel (a little) unnatural

I’ve always found networking to be a little awkward. As I’ve said before, you can’t just walk up to someone expecting a business deal, and this is a common mistake for many new entrepreneurs.

In these situations, entrepreneurs will often have the mindset of, “what can they do for me?” When the mindset should actually be “how can I help them?”

Being open-minded and open to conversation, not just about business, will help separate you from everyone else at the event.

Be authentic

Since the premise of networking can feel somewhat artificial at times, the best advice I can give to you is to be shamelessly authentic. Trust me, people at these events will notice, and love you for it.

If you are authentic and genuine in your abilities, there’s a greater chance that people will not only trust you, but will also remember you. Even if you don’t have a sale right away, it’s good to make a lasting impression so people will think of you down the line.

The other side of the coin is if you are trying too hard to sell your services, people will feel as though they are being pushed around, and won’t respond well.

Act natural and be yourself at events, as this is where most of your business opportunities will come from as a new entrepreneur.

My new best practices

I’ve written in the past about my networking best practices, and even on having the proper body language at events! While what I’ve written remains true, there is really only so much networking a person can take.

When I was younger, I used to go to every social event I could get myself into! While it’s a great idea when you’re just starting out, it quickly becomes tiresome and more time consuming as your business starts to take off.

Now, I pick about 3 events to attend each year that I actually enjoy going to. I’m better off only going to one trade show and making a few really great and worthwhile connections, as opposed to attending a billion social networking events. I think this provides more value for my time and I get to have a bit of fun, too.

While there are obvious benefits to networking, especially when you’re just beginning your entrepreneurial journey, I also want to tell you that you don’t need to be like everyone else and subscribe to the whole ordeal.

We all know that time is money, and my point is that you don’t necessarily need to over-extend yourself in order to be a good networker. If you agree, or don’t agree, please comment below!

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