Written by Cyndi Thompson, Cinder’s Vice President of Client Relationships:
After years of networking, I’ll be the first to tell you: networking isn’t always easy. However, with a bit of practice and the right approach, I’ve wholeheartedly embraced the amazing value it brings into my life and career. If you thrive on making connections and love learning about people – what they do and more importantly, why they do it – you’ll connect with awesome people. This is my list of essential tips for networking effectively and authentically:
#1 Be interested in Other People – This will prevent you from thinking of networking as just a means to an end and will help you build real relationships as opposed to superficial, transactional ones.
#2 Actively Listen – Don’t just wait for your turn to talk – you will miss a lot about what others have to say or are going through.
#3 Find Common Ground – What are their interests? Are they Broncos fans? Do they have kids? Are they interested in finance, marketing, etc.? I’m always looking for that dotted line where we can have a good conversation that’s exciting for both of us.
#4 – Go Deep, Not Wide – I would rather have quality conversations with one or two people rather than go around a room trying to collect 40 business cards. I don’t think people consider you authentic or genuine when that’s your goal.
#5 Follow Up – A lot of people put in the effort to get over their inhibitions and make real connections but never build on their initial success. You should always follow up after you’ve met somebody, and if you can, try to make it special and mention something that connects you to that person.
#6 – Suggest a Next Step – Invite somebody you’ve connected with to an event that might interest them. Next steps might also look like coffee or just an agreement to stay connected via email.
#7 – Make Thoughtful Introductions – I’m very protective of people in my network, so I try to only make great connections for them. Nobody has a 100% hit rate, but everyone in my network knows that my intention is always to make mutually beneficial introductions.
Vice President of Client Relationships at Cinder | President Elect of the FPA of Oregon/SW Washington; Former CFO; Financial Literacy Advocate.
Edited by Ethan Jacot