Become a Networking Master
13 Tips to Master the Art of Networking with Ease
If the thought of walking into a room full of strangers and talking about yourself makes you sweat, you’re not alone. When you look upon networking events and business functions as an “opportunity” to meet new people, do some market research and find potential clients, it will become a pleasure instead of a “chore”. Going in with a game plan will make you feel prepared and ready for the event!
Before The Event
- Be prepared. Take business cards, a pen and a small notebook.
- Make sure you eat before you go. If finger foods are being served, it’s better to carry only a drink, instead of trying to juggle a plate of food, a drink and trying to shake someone’s hand!
- Ask the event host about dress code. By knowing in advance what to wear, you won’t run the risk of standing out like a sore thumb!
- Dress to impress. You know first impressions last, so if it means taking a change of clothes in your office or car so you can walk into the event looking fresh, do it.
- What are going for? What’s your goal for attending this particular event? Do you have certain people to meet? Are you wanting to find new customers? Make a new friend? Catch up with existing contacts? Go into the event with clear expectations of what you want to achieve.
At The Event
- “I’ll call you…” Ask for other people’s cards if you REALLY want to touch base with them.
- Shake on it. When you meet a person, shake hands, and repeat their name. This not only helps you remember it, but it shows that you’re making an effort to hear the name properly.
- What’s in a name? Wear a nametag that is easy to read and is descriptive of you. Wear it on your right shoulder so that people can easily see it when they shake your hand – people are more likely to retain information that they can see and hear at the same time.
- Who are you? Create, practice and use a description of yourself and your work that can be said in 30 seconds or less… as weird as this sounds, it works and will create a good lead into marketing yourself or your business.
- Listen more than you talk. There is nothing more polite and flattering than someone who listens carefully and shows sincere interest in other people. Ask questions and listen to the responses so that you begin to understand the person, and if they might be a potential client. Take notes after to help you remember.
- Don’t avoid people you recognize if you’ve forgotten their name. Smile and ask a provocative question such as “The last time saw each other; we had a great chat about <whatever>. Will you remind me what your name is?” This will prove you remember who they are, and that you remember them!
After The Event
- Follow up. Always send a note or brochure the next day to the people you have met and want to keep in touch with.
- Keep cards. Hold onto business cards of people you’ve met and make notes of what you said in case you meet them at another event.
A good business card design is an essential tool in any networkers arsenal. When you’re at a function networking, meeting new clients, or your work comes up in a conversation, your card is the anchor to make sure the discussion doesn’t come to nothing. A great tip on your card is to add your website opt in offer to the back to compel your prospectus client to go to your website and proactively opt in to hear more from you which is another way to reinforce the relationship.
Arm yourself with these 13 tips and you will soon become a networking master.
Thank you as always for reading.
Here’s to your success!
P.S. If you’d like to discover your current stage of business + what you need to focus on to get the business growth you’re looking for, then take my free Business Essentials Quiz here.
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