Successful Networking Tips

NACM National

Kendall Payton, Editorial Associate

Networking builds connections and relationships with other professionals. It is a mutually beneficial exchange between both parties—providing opportunities for business growth, career growth and new partnerships.
Communication is everything. And how you communicate plays a big role in successful networking. Faceto-face interactions allow others to remember who you are rather than an over the phone conversation or digitally. 
A positive first impression lays the foundation of how you build your reputation and how to stand out. When you build a solid foundation, it can open more career opportunities and widen your circle as a professional support system. For example, if your business faces any obstacles, a reliable professional network can help by providing their knowledge, tools and other connections to help solve the issue. Successful networking also provides the opportunity to gain mentorship in your job field. When you attend more in-person events, you have more access to communicate directly with industry leaders and exchange information to get to know that leader. It is important to come prepared and with a plan.  For example, if your goal is to connect with 10 industry leaders per week, create a plan to reach out to a set number of requests per day. This allows you to grow your network strategically and build a professional circle. Before putting your plan into motion, you should consider a few factors such as location, communication preferences—whether over the phone or in person—and the industry each professional is in. Here are a few quick statistics about the value of networking, per research from Zippia:

  • 85% of jobs are filled through networking with personal and professional connections.
  • 70% of employees received their job through networking, while 95% of professionals say face-toface connections are more successful for long-term business relationships.
  • 79% of Americans agree networking plays an important role in career progression.
    Opportunities to network also provide ways to improve your social skills—which are important to use with your colleagues in the workplace and give you an effective way to communicate your value for career advancement.