1. Don’t Arrive Late
Showing up early at a networking event might seem counterintuitive, but it is still a far better strategy than getting there late. If you one of the first attendees, you will realize that it is usually quieter and calmer and people haven’t yet started settling into groups. It will thus be easier for you to find others that don’t yet have conversation partners.
2. Ask Simple Questions
You should avoid waiting around the edges of the room waiting to be approached. If you want to get the conversation started, just wat to a group or person and say, “What brings you here?” or “May I join you?” You shouldn’t forget to listen intently to the responses. If you aren’t a natural extrovert, you are probably a great listener and listening is a great way to know an individual.
3. Drop the Sales Pitch
The fact that networking is all about building relationship is not one to be forgotten. Keep your exchanges informal, light, and fun since a hard sell is absolutely not necessary within minutes of meeting a person. Getting the conversation started should always be your focus. People tend to be more likely to partner or do business with those whose company they like.
If you are asked about the service or product that you offer by a potential customer, be ready with a simple description of your company. Prior to the event, prepare a mental list of your recent accomplishments, such as a new project that you have completed or a new client that you have landed. That way, it will be easier for you to pull an item of that list and into your conversation.
4. Sharing Your Passion
Let your enthusiasm for your service or product win people over to you. Tell a story about your inspiration for creating the company and leave a lasting impression. Talking about what you love is also quite contagious too. If you are able to get others to share a passion, you will create a memorable 2-way conversation.
A smile might be simple, but it is a rule of engagement that’s often overlooked. If you smile, you calm our nerves and others are likely to find you warm and inviting. Don’t forget to smile prior to entering a room or starting a conversation. If you are really dreading the event, you should leave that negative attitude at the door suggest Amiqus in their blog.
6. Avoid Hijacking the Conversation
Some people that don’t like networking might attempt to overcompensate by commandeering the conversation. You shouldn’t forget that the most successful networkers excel at making others feel special. Look people in the eye, refer to them by their name, listen to what they have to say, and suggest easy to discuss topics. Be less of a talker and more of a conversationalist.
7. Follow Up
It is often stated that networking is actually the start of the conversation and not the end. If your exchange was good, ask your conversation partner about how best to keep in touch. Phone and email are the preferred options for some people while others prefer social media platforms such as LinkedIn. To show that you are both available and interested, get in touch with your conversation partner within 48 hours of the completion of the event and don’t forget to reference something that came up during your discussion so that the contact may remember you.
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