Advices from the expert: How to network efficiently

All of us are attending tons of networking events every year. But let’s be honest: Do you think the output is worth the time invested? Especially as a founder, gaining new contacts and building up a network is crucial to push your business.

Events like the Bitkom hub conference are a perfect opportunity to approach corporates or other start-ups and serial entrepreneurs. We asked Gil Rosen, serial entrepreneur, about how you can improve your networking “strategy”, to be more efficient and remembered:

Listen, don’t talk: The Dalai Lama says: “When you talk, you only are repeating what you know; but if you listen, you may learn something new”. Networking is all about how to ask the right questions and “pick up the bits and bytes”.

Be prepared for an elevator pitch: When it’s your turn to talk, you can tell your story. But keep in mind what your conversational partners said before. Be quick, concise and accurate when describing your business.

Be personal, don’t sell: It’s not about selling – just act and interact like a regular human being. Do not overact on your topic or be generic. Let your conversational partner get to know you as a person.

Go beyond titles: Sometimes corporate titles are misleading. Find out if the person is really the right one to talk to. Maybe there are other parts of the organization that can help you.

Connect the dots: The value of networking comes from building relationships, not only contacts. If you can help someone by connecting him, do it. Maybe it gets repaid someday.

Follow up briefly: When you follow up, all that’s needed is a quick e-mail without high language, a short reminder of where you met and what it was about. Don’t try to squeeze in a sales presentation.

Who’s that expert

Gil Rosen is a corporate and independent serial entrepreneur based in Berlin. Currently he is the CEO of a stealth spinoff of Telekom Innovation Laboratories.

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