As a professional and experienced networker, relationship building is Justin Cobb’s bread and butter, the self made entrepreneur has some shares his thoughts on how professionals should approach networking with industry experts like himself.
First things first, Justin Cobb recommends you realize that networking for information is not all about yourself. You should keep in mind that most of the professionals who you want to connect with have been approached at the same event by a few hundred other people in your position, asking similar questions and looking to gain all the answers that they want. One of the easiest ways to set yourself apart from the crowds and gain somebody like Justin Cobb’s attention, is to completely forget your personal agenda and attempt to connect with these professionals in an authentic and personal way. Justin Cobb says, “Offer value to the conversation, make it memorable, take an interest in how you could help, instead of what help you can steal from the example.” Try telling them how influential they have been to you and your career, show them what they have taught you and this will give the confidence that you are utilizing the free information that they generously share.
“Of course myself and other professionals are excited to network with aspiring entrepreneurs and people who look up to us, however sometimes we would like to have real conversations with those who have taken our advice and guidance and used it successfully benefit their careers or personal growth. Do not feel afraid to share your stories and information with us, instead of expecting to only take ours.”