Tried-and-True Strategies To Improve Your Networking Game

We now live in a high-tech age where we can perform tasks that were previously thought to be just the stuff of science fiction. From the way we now gather big data, transact business globally in our fingertips and build networks with people a million miles away, technology has revolutionized literally everything. But there are still things that don’t change. In fact, many of the elements that matter most in business still remain just as fundamental and highly valued. Establishing deep-rooted trust is one of them.

Long-term trust, reliability, consistency, and availability have ever long been essentials in doing business in whatever domain. But even in our hyper-modern setting, these are still the focus of any strong thriving company. And the reason why most of the networking strategies today have generated the most profitable results, inspired the highest number of employees and landed the most numerous deals could be because they still revolve in such time-tested ideas or principles. That said, here are some certified effective strategies rooted in building long-term trust that you can employ the next time you attend a networking conference.



Focus On Value To Give, Rather Than Sales To Land

An article from Harvard Business Review reveals that one tried-and-true way to attract positive results from any networking event is for managers or participants to be more inclusive and tolerant. However, no matter how welcoming you are, it’s still hard to get favorable results out of a conference if you reek of a ravenous salesperson in search of prey. Yes, you might get a good short deal from being a full-on ferocious salesman, but if you’re going for the long haul, it’s better to stick to a more sustainable approach. And this approach is simple: focus on the value you give.

Focusing on value means concentrating on dazzling solutions to the problems of the company owner you’re talking to. It means generating exquisite ideas and time-hacking solutions both creative and practical that address their niche-specific obstacles. Not focusing on value means rushing in like a fool to prowl the contact info of the business owner, hoping to spam their email with the details of the product you’re selling, which likely ends up in the trash bin. You don’t want that. Build relationships instead that foster trust, not quick sales transactions that yield junk



Be Generous

There’s plenty of opportunities to be generous in any networking event, and you should take advantage of that. Usually, these networking events are a “pay to play” setting, where to get exclusive membership means paying a certain fee. And paying up is already a respectable proof of being generous. There’s a lot of value in being able to rub elbows with the big guys in such events and paying up is reasonable and encouraged. Paying up is a sign of not just being generous, but also having what Nassim Taleb called “Skin in the Game”, where you put action into your words. Words are cheap, but when you harm yourself by paying up with your own money to put weight on your words, then your words match actions; a sign of virtue.

Whether you’re in a convention related to your business operations or you’re just winging it by joining events that may be unrelated to your field, generosity pays. Whether you’re up for a short-term business transaction or you’re looking for long-term partners, being generous means sharing ideas and your contacts to the people you meet. When you do that, you’re sharing a big chunk of your business identity, and that means you’re signaling that you’re up for collaborations and you’re unsparing with your time and other resources. People can read on that. If you’re generous with potential clients, they will by then in many ways return the favor by giving you the hardest asset they can share: their trust.



Building Trust

It’s a misguided idea to think of networking events as mere places to find leads. The events are more than that, and you’re wasting valuable time if you’re just in for a one-time transaction. In fact, don’t treat people or friends as transactions. The best way you can maximize your time in networking conferences is to use it as an opportunity to build trust with people.


Trust in the business world is nothing but an intersection of three variables: value, dependability, and consistency. Trust means you have understood the needs of the person you’re doing business with. It means that your understanding of such needs translates into action in the sense that you will show up when your business partner needs you to address such needs. Most importantly, you can establish trust when you can address the needs of the client all the time, whenever, wherever, especially in business urgencies.


Regular Meetings


We get it, you’re short in time, you’re in a rush. You have eighteen meetings to hit this morning alone, and so a lunch meeting with the guy you met in that conference should be close to impossible. But that doesn’t have to be. You have a lot of probably unnecessary meetings because you might be spreading yourself too thin, not prioritizing and definitely not filtering what matters.

You have to understand that it might be better to build strong business relationships with a few people, rather than by spreading your time across numerous acquaintances that you can’t possibly sustain for the long haul. Remember: regular meetings should be with people that are worth your time and your business in the long run, not people that could drain you out without generating results.



You join network events not just to seek leads and close deals, but also to create a network of allies or people that could help you in your business endeavors for the long haul. Despite the changes generated by modern technology, some principles and virtues in business dealings remain fundamental and unchanging. And one of these virtues is building long-term trust with the right people you can regularly spend time with. These are also the people that could open doors or remove obstacles in your business.