No Pressure Networking: Steps for Making Connections That Matter

We all know that networking is a key component of business success, but it doesn’t come easily for everyone. Karen Wickre, a former communications executive at Twitter and Google, has learned a lot about making connections over the years. She describes herself as an introvert and is sharing her expertise in her new book, “Taking the Work Out of Networking: An Introvert’s Guide to Making Connections That Count” (Touchstone, 2018). StartupNation talked with Wickre to learn what entrepreneurs can do to network better.

The first thing, she says, is to remember that networking means having a conversation, and nothing more.

“Network isn’t about how many business cards you collect or (how many) sales leads you generate,” she said. “The more real conversation you can have at the beginning, the better.”

Related: The Best Advice I’ve Ever Received From My Mentor

Instead, approach networking as a tactic for gathering intelligence, shaping ideas and getting to know other people regardless of a direct benefit to your work.

(Karen Wickre, photo courtesy of Simon & Schuster)

One thing to remember is that whether someone is an introvert, extrovert, or in between, most people like making connections with others.

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