Networking Like A Boss
1. Resist the urge to arrive late.
Arrive early, as a first attendee, you’ll notice that it’s calmer and quieter and people won’t have settled into groups yet. It’s easier to find other people who don’t have conversation partners yet.
2. Ask easy questions.
To get the conversation started, simply walk up to a person or a group, and say, “May I join you” or “What brings you to this event?”. Don’t forget to listen intently to their replies. If you’re not a natural extrovert, you’re probably a very good listener and listening can be an excellent way to get to know a person.
3. Ditch the sales pitch.
Networking is all about relationship building. Keep your exchange fun, light and informal. The idea is to get the conversation started. People are more apt to do business with (or partner with) people whose company they enjoy.
4. Share your passion.
Win people over with your enthusiasm for your product or service. Leave a lasting impression by telling a story about why you were inspired to create your company. Talking about what you enjoy is often contagious, too. When you get other people to share their passion, it creates a memorable two-way conversation.
It’s a simple but often overlooked rule of engagement. By smiling, you’ll put your nervous self at ease, and you’ll also come across as warm and inviting to others. Remember to smile before you enter the room, or before you start your next conversation.
6. Don’t hijack the conversation.
The most successful networkers (think of those you’ve met) are good at making other people feel special. 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.
7. Remember to follow up.
It’s often said that networking is where the conversation begins, not ends. If you’ve had a great exchange, ask your conversation partner the best way to stay in touch. Some people like email or phone; others prefer social networks like LinkedIn. Get in touch within 48 hours of the event to show you’re interested and available, and reference something you discussed, so your contact remembers you.
Lee Panchbhaya is the Managing Director of Gloucestershire based PR Geeks Digital Marketing.
PR Geeks work with partners of all type and size, helping them achieve their desired business goals, whether that be creating a branded presence online or engaging their existing customers through Social Media Management and Email Marketing Strategies.