Don’t be a Networking Numpty: Five tips to make it work for you
Let’s face it. No-one really likes networking. It’s one of those things you know you need to do but always find something more important gets in the way (well someone has got to water the office plants right?). But here’s how to make the most of the time investment and get some great results.
1. Show Some Passion
A concise and interesting answer to ‘what do you do?’ is very different from responding with a full blown sales pitch. Having a 30 second overview of why you are passionate about your business will go much further in gaining potential business than a dreary rumble on about your latest product features.
2. Build Partnerships
Think about how you can help your fellow attendees and not what they could do for you. Being able to engage and find solutions to problems puts you in a positive light and makes you feel less stressed about ‘selling’ yourself or product or service.
3. Ask for Introductions
If you are feeling nervous about attending get there early. It’s much easier to get introduced in a smaller crowd and far less intimidating. Failing that ask the host of the event to introduce you to someone who works in a similar field. At least you don’t need to make the first move and chances are you’ll have something in common.
4. Listen & Learn
Asking ‘open’ questions when speaking to attendees will give you much more info. ‘Why are you here today’, ‘where is your favourite networking event’, ‘how did you get started in your industry’. But make sure you listen to the response so you can learn more and find the key to a lasting connection.
5. Business Card Graveyard
If you’ve collected someone’s business card then PLEASE do something with it. At the very least add them to your email marketing list. If you have time, then follow up with a personalised ‘nice to meet you’ email.
We’d love to hear your networking tips so leave your comments below!