We are already in the last month of the year. In this season – where the Christmas and New Year holidays are common, as well as numerous personal commitments – some entrepreneurs continue working, while others take advantage of the “lazy days” to take a few days away from work or to carry out activities that serve to distract you from work stress.
However, despite the fact that when the year ends we have the mentality of “closing”, in reality this can be the best time to start new projects, generate contacts and nurture relationships. And is that December is synonymous with parties, meetings, meals and gifts (and also Christmas bonuses and holidays), so it offers the ideal conditions for networking , a fundamental part of the professional life of any person, especially of new entrepreneurs.
Therefore, we give you some simple and practical tips to take advantage of the spirit of the time to create or maintain relationships that benefit you and your company:
1. First, the acquaintances
Get together with people you already know and with whom you already have a personal or professional relationship. Make a list that includes friends, colleagues, colleagues or former colleagues, both from work and from university or graduates with whom you enjoy living. Use these meetings to give them sincere congratulations, to listen to them and share your professional situation with them. You are likely to find a good ally in whom you least expect.
2. Attend parties and gatherings
Take advantage of the Christmas holidays at work or with friends to meet people you have not seen for a long time or to meet new people. These types of more relaxed environments are ideal for conversing, sharing ideas and talking about your experience. Even if they are not events dedicated to networking , do not forget to always carry a few business cards that include the information on how to contact you.
Although it seems obvious, many times when we speak we do not pay attention to what the other person says. It is important for a networker to pay close attention to what the other is saying; Only in this way will you be able to know how this new contact will influence your professional relationships and, also, what you can offer them. In addition, it is essential that you remember certain facts or anecdotes so that the next time you talk or meet, they will remember who you are and notice a genuine interest on your part.
4. Have an attitude of service
A professional relationship (like any other) is based on give and take. If you have nothing to contribute to the other person, they are probably not an active part of your network of contacts . Therefore, listen carefully to what your counterpart tells you so that you can offer him some solution to his problem or at least introduce him to someone who can help him solve it.
A good relationship cultivator not only sees for himself, but is willing to offer support without expecting anything in return. Being willing to help someone else in a selfless way is the best way to build a trustworthy and lasting relationship. And this applies equally to personal life.
5. Follow up
The most important thing in networking is not to generate thousands of contacts, but to maintain and nurture them. It is useless to fill your contact book on your cell phone with phones and emails from people you are never going to call. This season, under the guise of Christmas greetings, is perfect to restart a relationship or to keep it fresh. All you have to do is send an email, an electronic card or make a call to resume these relationships.
If you know someone on these dates, invite them to other meetings or celebrations. Also take advantage of the end of the year to update your contacts and to set an ambitious but achievable goal, for example: “In December I will create five new contacts and I will meet with at least 5 people from my current network.”