Meeting and dealing with people is an important aspect of every adult’s life. You need to talk to people and ask them for help while at the same time offer help; it is a give and take relationship that you should value dearly. This is especially true in the business world where people undoubtedly spend a large amount of time networking whether it’s between clients and businessmen or businessmen among their colleagues. Since studies show that networking is generally more effective for men than for women, women will have to exert a lot more effort to expand their network even more and to choose the right people to include in their circle. We’ll talk about some tips that can help you better your networking skills and hopefully improve your standing amongst people in your industry.

Beginners Guide To Networking In The Business World

Be honest when you network

Networking is about building relationships. You want to be as genuine and honest as you can possibly be when you are dealing with other people; do this and you might probably get the same thing in return. No important functional relationship can last when one of the parties is dishonest about something. If you ever find yourself in this kind of business relationship, do not expect it to prosper or last very long. These kinds of relationships need trust between the different people involved and will not benefit anyone if all of you in it just to benefit yourselves.

How to do it: Give genuine answers to sincere questions and inquiries because this is the only way people will know how to help you. You should also be sincere when you offer help so that trust is built among you and the people you are trying to include in your network. Remember that trust is the key factor in long lasting business relationships. You will eventually need each other in the future so do not be afraid to open yourself up and let others do the same.

Figure out why you are networking

Ask yourself what you want to accomplish through networking in the first place. This will help you establish clear goals that you will try to look for during networking occasions such as meetings and conferences. It can be very difficult to join a discussion without a clear idea of what you need or can offer to other people in the group. No one will want to deal with you or join your network if they cannot understand what you need from them in the first place.

How to do it: Always prepare before you enter a conference room or business meeting. Ask yourself important questions that pertain to your goals and what you can offer to other people who are in or may join your network. This will make sure that your conversation has an end and that it goes smoothly. Be sure to get your point across by the end of the meeting so that more people will be interested in getting your business card and phone number.

Reach as many groups as you can

You need people in your network to be effective so you need to reach as many people as you can in different groups. The more groups you check out, the more your name or brand gets out there and more people will know about you and your business. Your network will be a lot more effective if many people join it. Who knows? Maybe someone in there might help you get that promotion or invest in your company.

How to do it:  If you see an interesting group of people at a conference; go join them and participate in their conversation. Do you think these people can help you and maybe give you the opportunity to help them? Invest more time and effort in building a relationship with them. The point is you should be browsing as many groups as you can so to get the best chance of finding an opportunity that can move you forward.

Ask simple open-ended questions during group conversations

Open-ended questions are the way to go when you are in a new group; they are easy to answer and even easier to come up with. Open-ended questions are questions that cannot be answered with a simple yes or no; they will help extend the range of the discussion and help you get the information you need. This will surely be useful when you are trying to find out more about people who you might consider including in your business network.

How to do it: Ask questions using the words what, who, when, where, and how instead of just quick and simple one-answer questions. This will show the people you are conversing with that you are genuinely interested in what their business is and what they have to offer. They will be able to give more detailed answers and are more likely to see you as sincere when you ask open-ended questions.

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Founder @ The New Savvy
Anna Haotanto is the Advisor (former CEO) of The New Savvy. She is currently the COO of ABZD Capital and the CMO of Gourmet Food Holdings, an investment firm focusing on opportunities in the global F&B industry. She is part of the founding committee of the Singapore FinTech Association and heads the Women In FinTech and Partnership Committee. Anna is the President of the Singapore Management University Women Alumni. Anna invests and sits on the board of a few startups. Anna is also part of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry Career Women’s Group executive committee. Anna’s story is featured on Millionaire Minds on Channel NewsAsia. She hosts TV shows and events, namely for Channel NewsAsia’s “The Millennial Investor” and “Challenge Tomorrow”, a FinTech documentary. Anna was awarded “Her Times Youth Award” at the Rising50 Women Empowerment Gala, organised by the Indonesian Embassy of Singapore. The award was presented by His Excellency Ngurah Swajaya. She was also awarded Founder of the Year for ASEAN Rice Bowl Startup Awards. She was also awarded the Women Empowerment Award by the Asian Business & Social Forum. Anna has been awarded LinkedIn Power Profiles for founders (2018, 2017), Tatler Gen T, The Peak’s Trailblazers under 40 and a nominee for the Women of The Future award by Aviva


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