Networking can be daunting, so here are some tips to make it easier for you.
- Pick the right network - one that suits your business goals.
- Be on time - get relaxed with and in the room and be there to greet others as if you are a host and do smile :-)
- Dress comfortably - smart & clean, no odours, no tobacco or alcohol smells
- Mingle - Talk to other attendees, even if, especially if, you are uncomfortable starting off
- Breathe - it may be obvious, but remember to take deep breaths, it is easy to forget
- Ask questions - Pay attention and LISTEN.
- Silence - if the conversation stops, ask more questions of the person, be prepared with some general questions, kike why did you choose your profession, what gives you most satisfaction, how does Networking help etc
- Sales - Do not be Salesy, be helpful, ask how you can help exactly
- Triggers - look out for opportunities to connect people, even in the room - make it a game, a challenge, try to bring business to someone at the event or connect some people
- Be real - forget all the sales book baloney, be yourself always, (unless you are normally a pain)
- Refer business - If you can get business for someone, they will want to get business for you.
- 60 Seconds or Elevator pitch. If you get the chance, say who you are, what do you do or offer, who do you want to meet and why should someone recommend you
- Stand out - Infuse some energy, be memorable, fun, educational, clear and concise
- Be specific - name the person you want to meet and say why
- Shotgun - Do not run around giving away business cards, thinking that this is networking - leave the cards at home
- Prepare - plan who you want to talk to at any Networking event and have a goal for that meeting - can you get an Attendees List in advance or read the sign in book
- Be positive - Add positivity to the energy and NEVER criticise others
- Farm NOT Hunt - Look to bring benefit, sow seed like a Farmer, rather than be an out and out Hunter
- Follow up - Follow up quickly to arrange meetings or referrals, send the info you promised
- Evaluate - Review how each meeting went, did you achieve what you set out to do ? How could you have done better?
- Personal Net worth - Do you stay connected with your existing Network, clients, past clients, friends etc - This is a warm audience, so do stay connected
- GOOTO - Get out of the office, meet people, talk and spot opportunities
- Rejection - It is in your head, so dump it and work out what you did wrong - Be Better, Grow and enjoy the Challenge of getting from No to Lets Go
- Shy? - Use FORM as in ask questions about Family, Occupation, Recreation or Motivation, such as Are you here on your own? Why do you do? How do you spend your free time? Why are you here?
Most of this list of 20+ tips, came from Michael MacGinty over at MeanIT and you can read the full extensive article here Michael is a public speaker and an authority on Networking, well worth considering for events. Can you suggest any other tips ?