Top Ten Networking Tip
Networking either comes easy to you or it doesn’t but networking is one of the greatest forms of marketing you can do to market yourself and your business, in fact, it is an absolute necessity. We have put together ten great tips that will help you network gracefully and confidently.
- Prepare before you go: Shy people, in particular, have a hard time starting conversations with strangers, but doing a bit of homework before an event can help anyone come up with good questions to ask. This will make you feel more confident striking up a conversation with someone. These questions don’t necessarily have to be business related either.
- Arrive early: Things will be quieter and people won’t be settled into conservations yet. This is a great time for you to strike up conversations.
- Set a goal to speak to a specific number of people: Your only agenda should be a set number of people to talk to and your objective is to get their business cards and potentially do business with them in the future.
- Just be yourself: Don’t try to be the person you think others want to meet. Be genuine. The people you connect with when you are authentic are the ones you’ll want to stay in touch with.
- Always take business cards and then when talking to someone, ask for two business cards. Don’t just take one for yourself, but also take one for someone you may know who may be interested in their business.
- Have basic networking manners: Smile, look people in the eye, repeat their name, listen to what they have to say, and suggest topics that are easy to discuss. Be a conversationalist, not a talker.
- Ditch the sale pitch: Remember, you are there to build solid business relationships therefore, be warm and inviting. If a potential customer does ask you about your product or service, be ready with an easy description of your company.
- Manage your time well: It is important to keep track of time at networking events if you’ve given yourself the goal of talking to 10 people that will give you about three to four minutes with each person. So make sure to manage your time effectively.
- Take notes: When you ask for someone’s card after having a great conversation, take notes on their business card after they walk away or immediately after the event. This will help you to be more specific in your follow-up.
- Always follow up: Follow up with your newly formed contact the next day and remind them of what your business has to offer to gauge their interest. Set up meeting with them to continue to build the relationship.