What is networking?
A social network is a group or community of people who share interests and activities or who are interested in exploring the interests and activities of others. Groups can be 'real' or 'virtual'. On-line social networking through websites like Facebook, MySpace and Bebo, have revolutionised the way we communicate and share information with one another in today's society. These sites are being used by millions of people everyday on a regular basis and it seems that social networking is now a part of everyday life. The main types of social networking services are those which contain directories of some categories (eg former classmates), means to connect with friends, and recommender systems linked to trust.
Business networkingis a marketing method by which business opportunities are created through networks of like-minded business people. There are several prominent business networking organisations that create models of networking activity that, when followed, allow the business person to build new business relationship and generate business opportunities at the same time.
A business network may agree to meet weekly or monthly with the purpose of exchanging business leads and referrals with fellow members. To complement this activity, members often meet outside this circle, on their own time, and build their own "one-to-one" relationship with the fellow member. As these relationships strengthen, the exchange of business increases. Business networking can be conducted in a local business community, or on a more larger scale via the internet.
Regional alumni groups are networks and important points of contact for alumni living and working around the world. They also play a key role in building the University's global community. Please use these pages to find out more about Nottingham groups or how to start a group.
Top ten networking tips
1. Shake hands confidently and introduce yourself clearly
2. Be more interested than interesting
3. Remember to use people's names
4. Ask others for their contact details/business cards before offering your own
5. Devise and practice a phrase that describes your unique selling point succinctly
6. Ask open questions. Give people a chance to talk about themselves
7. Don't try and sell yourself or your business. Build the relationship through building rapport
8. Concentrate on becoming valuable to others rather on how they can be valuable to you
9. Offer help and ask for it when needed
10. Talk to all sorts of people. You never know who they are!
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