We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: professional networking can help land you your dream job, and it can be the key to a very successful career. If you’re looking to develop the basics of networking with other professionals efficiently, we encourage you to read our article 5 Tips To Becoming A Networking Master.
Once you’ve created your networking foundation, it’s time to learn how to nurture and maintain these professional relationships. Just like a friendship, a healthy professional connection needs good communication, trust, mutual respect, and boundaries to be fruitful and beneficial for both parties. Take a look at these useful tips that will not only strengthen your professional relationships but also help you preserve them for a long time:
1. Share Valuable Information
It’s vital to stay up to date with the latest goings-on in and around your professional area. When you hear of something that may interest one of your connections, whether it’s a job lead, a business opportunity, or just a piece of news that they could benefit from, share it.
While your tendency could be to process and let go of information that does not directly serve you, always think of its networking value. Sharing information with your professional connections opens the doors for them to share something in return. With each exchange, the relationship is strengthened.
2. Introduce Your Connections
When you meet someone new, keep your current professional relationships in mind. Could they possibly help each other if they knew each other? Referrals go a long way in the business world. When you sense that introducing one professional contact to another might be beneficial to one or both parties, go for it—they will both appreciate the gesture. They may return the favor down the road by introducing you to someone that may be able to help you in your career.
3. Network Over a Coffee
While email works well for professional communication, a face-to-face meeting can be invaluable. Devote an hour once a month to grab coffee with a professional relationship just to check in, offer help, or brainstorm with them.
Robert Kiyosaki, the author of the well-known book “Poor Rich, Poor Dad” believes that the world’s richest people are the ones that look for networking opportunities and build great relationships. This mindset definitely helped him create his company and become successful.
Sharing information, sourcing solid referrals, and being there (in person) for your professional connections builds trust and rapport, so don’t be shy! Be proactive, and you’ll find yourself on the right track to richer professional relationships and a broader, stronger professional network.