How to Make the Most of Networking Events: Networking Tips
Networking can go a long way in helping your business be successful. Other businesses and contacts can help expand your circle and promote your business. Bear in mind that for networking to work, you need to bank on your social skills and develop connections. Here are a few tips on how to build your network.
It is important that you go to these social gatherings prepared. Make sure that you have everything you need to be sorted out before the day. Plan your day and make sure you arrive on time.
Do you have marketing materials that you plan to give out? Brochures, calling cards, samples of your work or an introductory video? These materials need to be ready before the day and may take a while to produce. Be sure that you have these collaterals so you can bring it on event day.
Work on how to open conversations. There will be people there that you have never talked to before. A good icebreaker can help relieve tension and calm everybody down. Try asking open-ended questions that need more than just a yes or no answers. These questions can open a lot of topics for you to continue the conversation.
Be ready to pitch in your product or service when the situation arises. Be sensitive on when you try to do your pitch. It may be a turn-off when you give your pitch in a middle of an unrelated topic. If the situation doesn't naturally come, be ready to direct the conversation to when it would be proper for you to give your pitch.
Try to be genuine when you talk to people. Ask questions that really interest you. It would be obvious if you try to fake it. Also, it wouldn’t be a good start of a business relationship if you start it from a lie. Try to listen and understand what the other person is saying. They may give you important information during these conversations. Also, you may find them interesting and it may be a start of a genuine friendship.
- Be Confident
Talking to people you don’t really know can be daunting. As a business owner though, you need to have a business relationship with people in your network. Try it with a handshake first. Be sure to have a firm, confident and welcoming handshake, it shows respect for the people you meet.
- Interact with everyone
You may have set your sights to knowing certain people you think are important to your business. Remember though, that there is a chance that you may meet people you don’t really know but may have connections to other people. Also, people may just be interested in what you do and may become advocates of your work so try and interact with everyone during the event.
- Help introduce other people
It will also be a great opportunity to introduce people to other business owners that may help their business. Don’t hesitate to connect people to one another, they may appreciate it more than you think. They may also return the same favor and introduce you to other people that may help your business
Get in touch with people you promised to get in touch with. If you promise to send a sample of your work then do that after the event. Introduce people to others when you promise to do it after the event. If you promised to refer a client then do that as well. Value the relationships you have built and don't forget to keep your promises.
Make the most out of the networking event. It depends on your demeanor whether it would be successful or not for your business. If you go in with a negative attitude then you wouldn’t get anything from it. Don’t forget to enjoy, at the end of the day it is not just work, it is a social event and there’s always a positive side to knowing more people.