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3 ideas to help you network more effectively.

Written by Savio Meireles, this article originally appeared on LinkedIn

“If you don’t understand people, you don’t understand business” Simon Sinek.

Let me make a confession first.

As an introvert, leading up to the Websummit last year, I was feeling a little insecure.

Being my first time in the event and having recently moved to Portugal, I was taking a big risk of wasting the € 850 I paid for the ticket.

You know why?

Well, firstly there was not much leverage for me at the event, since I’m a newbie in the innovation ecosystem in Portugal.

Also, I’m not a Startup founder, I’m not looking for investors, and I’m definitely not a politician trying to be seen in a trendy event.

But instead of shying away from this opportunity, I decided to apply a few principles, which I live by and truly believe it’s the right thing to do, especially at networking events.

So, if you find yourself in a similar situation, these ideas might be helpful.

1. #Givefirst mentality.

Stop with the “me, me, me… mentality”. It’s not about you, it’s about the people you’re going to connect with. At the end of the day, people won’t pay attention to you unless you pay attention to them first.

The whole idea of “be interested makes you an interesting person” although it has become a clichê, it’s also true.

It is soooo true.

Being hasty and trying to hard sell at every single interaction will only make you look like a fool. An amateur that doesn’t understand how to connect and nurture a long term relationship.

In an event like the Web Summit, knowing how to listen to people, being kind to them and adding value to their “event experience” go a long way.

You know why?

Because most people don’t do this. They’re trying to “propose marriage on the first date”, which doesn’t build trust.