Networking is not a talent, it is a skill. As an entrepreneur, it is a skill that you can and must develop if you want your business to succeed. Networking means seeking out people and forging connections with them to mutual benefit. To make the best of networking, you need to understand what it is you hope to achieve through it.
How do you find networking partners?
There are plenty of business and networking conferences out there which provide perfect opportunities for entrepreneurs. Places where people gather from a wide variety of backgrounds to share their experiences and skills.
At these events, you should try and avoid pitching your business initially. Instead, try and have a genuine conversation with people, given a little time your business will come up and you will get to explain it in natural terms. You must also allow them to do the same, treat it as an exchange between equals.
Facts about networking
Networking is not just about meeting new people, it is about maintaining the connections you already have. Remember that the people you have already met can suddenly find themselves in positions of massive success and you want them to remember them favourable. Similarly, do not neglect anyone because you do not think they are big or successful enough. They may not be powerful today but they could be anywhere tomorrow.
When you attend conferences, be yourself and be real. You want the connections you form to be based on something real. If you end up working with any of the people you meet in the future, you want to genuinely like them and have them feel the same way about you. This will not always be the case but it is impossible if you focus on putting up a front.
You can achieve this by starting with generalities and common ground that entrepreneurs share. These topics are understood by everyone and they show that you can empathise with them and the trials their business faces.