Tips for Successful Networking
“Being interactive is one of the basic requirements for an accountant engaged in advisory services, like myself,” says Eugene Ha, a partner at Grant Thornton and a Hong Kong Institute of CPAs member. “Making connections with clients, intermediaries and the wider business community is part of what I do every day. It’s fortunate that I am quite a natural talker as well, with an outgoing personality. Networking is in fact an enjoyable role to me.”
Here are a networking natural’s top tips for making new connections.
- Be a good listener: Always listen to what people say, and then find the right time to join in the conversation.
- Maintain eye contact: This helps show your respect for the person that you are talking to and is also a sign of self-confidence.
- Always follow up: Continue to engage with the people you have met and avoid having only one-off meetings.
- Some research: Learn about the potential connections you are meeting through an Internet search. Information about their experiences and interests can help facilitate good conversation.
- Act shy: Try your best to sit with people you don’t know and maximize your networking opportunities.
- Be impatient: Networking is about building a strong and long-lasting relationship. Never interrupt others’ conversations and always stay alert with your tone and facial expression.
- Make a sales pitch at a networking event: Always remember that it is for relationship-building, or you could turn people off.
- Be extreme or get too personal:
- Never criticize others’ views, especially on cultural or religious issues, or discuss your own personal problems. People might remember you for the wrong reason.
Source: HKICPA's APlus Magazine – March 2013