Studies show that 80% of all new business comes from networking, not to mention career opportunities, so use your time wisely. These top 10 tips will help you on your way to becoming a highly successful networker, whilst having a great time.
1. Prepare – Make sure you arrive at the event feeling calm and friendly, so know where you are going and for what time, with plenty of business cards.
2. Make the First Move – Take responsibility and don’t come away from an event feeling you have missed an opportunity because no-one talked to you.
3. Start with Small Talk – Calm your nerves by making small talk with someone equally alone about something general: the venue, the parking, the weather or the refreshments.
4. Be Interested – Find out about the person you are talking to by asking questions, so that you can build a picture of them and in return they will be more receptive in hearing about you.
5. Concentrate on Giving – Look for ways you can help others; advice, referrals, even friendship instead of focusing on selling to them as this will naturally follow.
6. Keep your Mind Open – Resist the urge to dismiss a contact if they don’t seem to fit your needs because you never know when you might need them in the future.
7. Always Follow up – If you’ve promised somebody information, an introduction or a phone number, make sure you keep your word or you risk damaging your reputation.
8. Build Relationships – Be consistent and regularly attend events so that you become known and build trust with fellow attendees.
9. Have Fun and Relax – Events are social occasions, so treat them as such.
10. Enjoy the Event – If you enjoyed the event then tell your friends and colleagues, bring them along next time and help them network too!