The business industry is a big field with lots of different executives working in it. Some of them may be your business competitor, and some are mentors, leaders, coaches, and others. When it comes to business, networking is a word everyone is talking about and taking it seriously. Why? Because this can be favorable to enhance the future and success of any organization and business.
There are different types of networking in the industry, but in this article, I would like to expound more about executive networking.
Also, later in this article, you will see the successful steps in executive networking. So keep reading until the end to unlock that biggest revelation!
What is a networking executive?
A networking executive is a person who is responsible for meeting and making connections or relationships with fellow business leaders and professionals. It takes time to build a strong executive network, and as you continue to network, your group of contacts will expand.
Making connections, sharing information, and asking questions are all part of the networking process. It’s a method of relating to others, not a means of a job search or a profitable favor.
Executives know their skills and high quality of expertise. Because of that, networking with executives demands a high level of understanding. You can connect with entrepreneurs, co-business leaders, members of the company, and individuals in several ways. It will all be determined by how comfortable you are with it and what will support you in improving it.
How do I network with executive recruiters?
Executive recruiters work with companies or an organization to fill executive and high-level positions. They are often brought in for the most challenging job candidate searches. Executive recruiters may be employed to work for a single industry or numerous job industries.
An executive recruiter usually works on a career agreement, which means that clients or company pays for the recruiter’s services. The retainer fee ensures that the recruiter has a job and that the company will use its services. The recruiter also benefits from the payment because it can take a long to fill an executive position.
Executive recruiters are decision-makers that identify applicants for open executive roles. That is why it is also nice to have peer networks with them. The following are some ways on how to connect and network with executive recruiters.
Find your common ground
You shall learn more about the executive recruiter’s interests and look for the specific areas they specialize too. You can conduct this by gaining access to online platforms or resources such as LinkedIn or by conversation through phone and email.
Let us say that you are an IT professional. You would want to search for any professionals who specialize in any of these areas: programming, web development, data analyst, software engineer, technology companies, and more. The recruiter who is the best fit for you should be at the top of your networking list.
However, keep in mind that you shall still open yourself from peers of different industries to make yourself capable of new opportunities and networks of varying expertise.
Understand their point of view
An executive recruiter is paid to search candidates with specific expertise, a quality skillset, and certain profitable assets dictated by the hiring company. If you are the person looking for opportunities to work with them, take note that no matter how much you know that you can do a specific job, you won’t be on the shortlist if you don’t have exactly what the recruiter is searching for.
However, if you are an executive wanting to network with this type of person, you shall widen your insights and understanding to learn where they get their point of view when dealing with other people. They might be hard to please when hiring professionals, but they have this soft side when making connections with people.
Just like you, recruiters are also looking for people to network with. In able to network with them, make sure that you make yourself visible, not by sending your portfolio or resume but by establishing yourself as a leader and an expert in your field.
By participating in seminars, workshops, conferences are some ways you can make yourself open to opportunities. You can also create a book, write an article or blog post, and other ways to make them hear your name in the networking world. Again recruiters are looking for experts and people who work in the same field, so be that expert and be visible.
Share your knowledge
Your goal here is to connect with your co-executives, not for a job search or new opportunities. When you contact recruiters, it is better to offer information that might be helpful on their ends, such as networking or business tips and industry knowledge.
Networking is a give-and-take relationship. You upgrade the engagement from cold-calling to colleague sharing by becoming peers. Who knows, they might offer you exciting career opportunities in the future if they find you appropriate for a specific task.
Even though the birth of online communication, you must balance your networking methods with traditional, online, and researching. Our means of connecting to people are evolving, and so are we. To find your new set of networks, ensure you are equipped with this new set of insights and networking skills.
How do you network a CEO?
Many of us are afraid of talking and networking with people who have authority over a business because we are afraid that they might look down on us. But believe it or not, you can make a network with a CEO, CMO, CTO, CCO, and other Chief executive officers if you are on the right page on approaching them. Below are some tips on how you can network with this group of people.
Connect with the right CEO
The first step is to seek out CEOs who inspire, lead, and motivate you. It is preferable to choose someone with ideas and knowledge of your industry. You have a couple of alternatives for contacting them. Of course, meeting them in person is ideal. Still, since men’s habits have shifted in recent months due to the challenging times caused by the pandemic, one of the most acceptable ways to engage with them is through social media and online networking events like conferences.
To gain more insights about networking events, read here.
You do not stop by just having a list of CEOs that you want to network with. You also need to know what their business practices, needs, and what they are passionate about. Just as mentioned above, you need to find common ground in being able to move forward.
Introducing yourself can be intimidating, but it is essential in starting and building a business career support. If you want to connect with CEOs, you need to be proactive and approach them by engaging social media, emailing links to your online profile, attending networking events, and more.
Make your mark
“Why should we hire you?” is a common question in almost every job search. In networking, there is also a question that you would like to ask yourself “Why would they network with me?” Establishing yourself as a valuable industry leader is the simplest method to address this problem.
In more straightforward terms, you need to make your mark in the industry. You may launch educational courses, speak at events, advise others, and volunteer in your community. If you do this, you’ll access yourself to more chances and establish yourself as an influencer, which means other leaders, contacts, or companies will come to you instead of making an effort.
Create valuable contacts
CEO are just like you; they have emotions and ways of living. As you can see them striving in their field, they are also interested in some other things like watching a basketball game, enjoying band music and many more. When you can connect with company leaders or prospective contacts personally, they are more likely to be interested in you.
However, there are times that you two are not going to have all the same interests, especially when it comes to politics and culture. But, there are valuable things that you can talk about more. To avoid awkward and boring situations, all you have to do is be yourself and allow the discussion to flow organically.
How do you network a high-level executive?
Are you that kind of person who’s trying to reach for the big shot? Most of the time, in networking events, higher executives join and speak in the event. This high-level of executives I am referring to are the Presidents, Vice presidents, Chairman and Director of the board of any organization or company. They are also called the top tier or top-level management in a business company.
Networking with senior-level professionals is an excellent approach to advance your career and personal development. When you wish to network with high-level executives, here are some rules to follow and remember.
1. Start the conversation
As mentioned above, people who have authority in business are human beings too. Make sure you introduce yourself and be genuinely interested in what they say and give sincere responses.
2. Break the barrier
Again, they are ordinary people just like you. Learn to treat them how you want to be treated.
3. Respect their time
Keep in mind that they are always busy with their work and might not be able to see your messages or request on time if they give you their time, respect, value, and use it properly.
4. Get to the point
When networking, you don’t want to waste anyone’s time, especially these people’s. If you’re trying to communicate with them, make sure you get right to the point and make it significant.
5. Offer your help
More likely high-level executives are not experts in everything, and they could need some help from time to time. When you have something to offer, give them a hand. But hey! Make sure that it is indeed a help, not a sales pitch or job search.
6. Ask for advice
Your goal is not just to meet people or possible contacts working big in the business industry, but you also need to learn some of their ways on how they made it. More often, these people are happy to help others, so if you feel that they would make an ideal mentor, do not hesitate to ask them. Ask for assistance, feedback or advice in your business and career to benefit from their expertise and potentially take your step to success.
7. No pitching in your first meeting
Many people fail to network with other executives for this reason. Remember that you need to build a quality and valuable relationship, not just money. Just enjoy connecting with them and letting the opportunity come to you.
Don’t be anxious next time you attend or be invited to a networking event with senior executives in attendance. Be yourself, be considerate to others, and enjoy spending time with like-minded others.
Seven Steps for Successful Executive Networking
Mentioned above are different ways on how to approach different types of people in the business world effectively. Meanwhile, there are still more things to know about networking. Listed below are seven steps or, more likely, a summary for successful executive networking.
Find your purpose
Executive networking opportunities require you to be specific in your purpose. Suppose you do not have a clear definition of business goals and the purpose of your business networking. Networking will be most effective as long as you have a definite purpose for doing such a thing. Commit yourself to your purpose and to make these relationships grow and develop. As you provide value to them, you will find that this purposeful networking leads to more satisfying and effective business connections.
Networking is something that you do not want to improvise completely. The more you come prepared, the more successful your networking efforts will be. Examine your contact information to ensure that it is up to date and easy to discover.
Also, check the information on your website or social media accounts if it is updated. Another thing, before you talk to executives, do some research. Search out their general background and interests to know where you would start when you approach them.
You can see other many executives in different organizations and professional associations. These companies or groups hosts conferences, seminars, panels and other speaking engagements. Participate in the niche-related events they offer, prepare to give out your business card, and make connections, whether in-person or virtual.
Whenever they ask for your help but can’t provide it because of too much workload, or it is not your forte. You can recommend them to your peers, friends and colleagues. Do not think of this as losing the opportunity, but think of it as building trust.
There are times when you really can’t do everything yourself, and it is suggested to not bombard yourself too much with it. Learn to help others; if you know someone from your contacts who can make it better, do not hesitate to recommend it. This way, you are building a quality, stronger and better network.
Maintain ongoing connections
Each person you meet becomes another branch in your network. You might be surprised how a particular network can help you down the road. So learn to maintain your ongoing network by keeping in touch, occasionally meeting, and checking each other.
Respect their time
Every one of us has plotted things to spend our time on. If you manage to grab a minute of an executive’s time, use it wisely. Get directly to the point and do not keep them longer unless they tell you so. With this, I suggest practicing a good quality elevator speech in advance.
Enjoy making networks
The final phase in networking with CEOs is to have fun. It’s not something you should do just to get a job or because you’re forced to. Allow everything to flow quickly and smoothly. It’s important to remember that networking isn’t about trying to meet as many people as possible. Look for people who can make a difference in your life and who can motivate you.
Bonus Tip: International opportunities
With today’s technology, you can easily catch up with the latest trends. One of the trends right now is conducting or participating in online events. You can join an online business seminar or conferences joined by different industries around the world. Since it is easier to communicate with others, you can now give rise to an international business relationship or even establish a group of leaders, entrepreneurs, companies to pitch in some ideas and work for specific projects.
Business growth and development is not easy, but once you get the hang of it, you will surely reach the place where you can finally say that you are successful. This read gave you some ways how to network with executive recruiters, CEOs and even high-level executives. Now, you can apply these tips and do not be shy about approaching them to ask for advice, recommendations, help and offer support or whatever you can in return.
I am not saying that business networking is the best way to reach your success. My insight here is that you are not alone in the industry. You need to focus and do what it takes to surpass all the critical challenges in this challenging time. More people once were like you and have been able to beat all the vital challenges in the industry that you can approach in times.