5 Ways to Improve Your Networking Skills

By TherapyNotes, LLC on August 15, 2018
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5 Ways to Improve Your Networking Skills - TherapyNotes

Networking is crucial in building a successful practice. Getting new referrals often requires attending events and meeting other people. To improve your networking skills, follow these 5 tips.


 

1. Focus on relationship building

People can sense desperation and insincerity. To avoid this, don’t bring up business too quickly and focus on building a relationship rather than getting a quick lead. As Allison Puryear, LCSW, puts it on Abundance Practice Building, they’ll refer you only if they know you, trust you, and like you. That takes time.

Besides, you may have more to gain from your peers than referrals alone anyway.

 

2. Think quality over quantity

It might sound contradictory, but you may get more leads by passing out fewer business cards. That’s because it’s “10 times more valuable to develop connections with five quality people at an event than 50 ‘contacts’ whose names you won't remember,” according to Entrepreneur magazine.

Plus, if others see you jumping from person to person, they may think you’re fickle and needy.

 

3. Use social media wisely

Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are great places to network. By commenting on posts or sharing relevant articles, you can keep the conversation going and establish yourself as an authority. Just make sure you use this as a complement to in-person exchanges, not as a replacement.

 

4. Don’t dismiss anyone

Some people you meet won’t seem beneficial at first but that doesn’t mean you should write them off. They may have “valuable connections or knowledge you’d never learn about if you’d dismissed them,” according to Forbes. Give them a chance and find the value in everyone.

 

5. Listen intently

You can typically tell when someone is just waiting to say what they want to say. It’s not a good feeling and likely won’t lead to a referral down the road. To show you’re paying attention and value their opinion, don’t interrupt, respond to what they’re saying, and ask questions.

Also, don't forget to follow up. Reaching out in a timely manner reaffirms that meeting them was valuable to you, allowing you to keep in touch with the person and foster the relationship. Good luck!

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* The content of this post is intended to serve as general advice and information. It is not to be taken as legal advice and may not account for all rules and regulations in every jurisdiction. For legal advice, please contact an attorney.

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