Let’s be honest; in our increasingly competitive cities, it’s just as much about who you know as it is what you know.
Knowing the right people and having an extensive network can help in countless ways – from by passing the line at a hot club and getting a reservation at your city’s latest and greatest, to getting in front of that key contact and scoring new clients.
But there’s a particular skillset when it comes to networking. Do you have it?
Here are 11 signs you’re a master networker…
1. You Have Hundreds of Business Cards in Your Possession
Sure, it’s important to attend an event armed with a wallet full of your business cards. But it’s even more important to get the cards of others than to leave a potential follow-up in the hands of the other person. That’s why you have hundreds of business cards – whether stashed away in a show box or in a drawer – and those are only the ones you’ve accumulated since summer.
2. You Have at Least 50-100 People on Your Facebook Who You Never Actually Met in Person.
You know that social media is just as much about networking as it is with keeping tabs on your friends’ engagement statuses and pictures. And others know that too. That’s why people you’ve never met in person frequently “friend” you on Facebook (adding to your 1000-plus friends), complete with a personal message.
3. You Have Multiple Circles of Friends
Your social circle isn’t confined to a particular group of friends, but rather friends from a variety of groups – everyone from your high school crew to the group of friends you connected with in line for the bathroom.
4. You Seem to Run into Someone You Know Wherever You Go
Whether it’s the drug store, hockey game or a restaurant opening, you’re pretty much guaranteed to run into someone you know. That’s why you know it’s kind of important to always look half-decent… and when you don’t, you channel your inner celeb and wear a hat for that grocery store run.
5. You Have No Problem Attending an Event Alone
In fact, you’d prefer to do so. You mastered the art of attending an event solo years ago and bringing others along sometimes hold you back from the task at hand. You wouldn’t want to get stuck in a conversation with him or her for a good chunk of the evening when there are so many connections just waiting to be made around you.
6. You Have Your Elevator Pitch Down Pat
By now, you know that people’s attention spans are shorter than ever and that the time you have to make an impression at young professional-filled events is short. That’s why you could recite your elevator pitch in your sleep.
7. You Do Your Research
As a master networker, you know how important it is to do your homework. This means researching the key influencers and contacts you’d like to connect with and their companies, the cause behind charity events (making for quick conversation starters), and other potential talking points at networking events – everything from relevant business trends to world issues.
8. You’re Genuine and Actually Like People
You know that much of your natural networking ability comes from the fact that you’re actually a people person. Whether they can help you or not, you genuinely like meeting new people. A key component to networking is to take the “work” part out of it; you know that when it comes down to it, people want to work with others who they like.
9. You Know a Guy/Girl for That
You’re the best friend to have because you always “have someone for that,” whether it means a great graphic designer, a stellar PR queen, a restaurant owner, or a personal trainer.
10. You Follow Through
It’s one thing to work the room at events, have a perfected elevator pitch, and to return home with countless business cards. But it’s pretty meaningless if you don’t follow through. That’s why you’re always sure to follow up – whether with a Tweet or social media post – within 48 hours of your initial meeting.
11. You Reciprocate
You know that networking involves a mutually beneficial give-take relationship – not a take-take relationship on your part. You can see right through the overly calculated types that will quickly move on from any banter when they realize you can’t help them with anything. And you never want to be like them. That’s why people like you. And why you’re doing so well…