Networking Blues – Approaching Senior Executives
Networking is an extremely effective tool for career advancement. Whether you are an entrepreneur or work for a company, finding a mentor/sponsor, connecting with leaders in the industry and developing your personal brand are key. These strategies can elevate your networking game to the next level.
At events, meetings or gatherings, it is important to be networking focused. It is essential to be prepared and open to opportunities. Many savvy networkers (extroverts and introverts alike) have difficulties approaching senior management or leaders within their companies and industries. Due to social or political cues, many individuals tend to be intimidated and miss the chance to promote their career or social endeavors.
Listed below are a few helpful tips for connecting with high level executives and building a strong and viable network.
Have a Game Plan
It is great to attend functions and meet/connect with individuals. But when you are intending to connect with higher level executives, it is imperative that you have a game plan. Know exactly how you want to introduce yourself or be introduced by another professional. After the introduction, you should know exactly what to say to get the conversation going in the right direction. Do some research on the individual and their roles within the organization. Find out if they have received awards and special recognitions. Ask questions that relate to the future success of the company or solutions for challenges the company, employees or industry are facing.
Call To Action
After you have introduced yourself and made meaningful conversation, exchange business cards. Reinforce your professional image and brand while getting their direct contact information. Conduct good business card etiquette and suggest a follow up. Be creative in your follow up request. Offer to meet at their office or attend an event they are hosting. Pick a social or community event to continue the dialogue and connection. Show that you are interested in developing a purposeful relationship and long term partnership. Remember to follow up in a timely manner as a sign of courtesy and respect.
Use these tips to broaden your network and reach out to leaders in your company or industry. Be professional and intentional in your processes for communicating and building relationships.