Networking? Take it from no signal to five bars. Now we’re talking.
I’m very new to the networking scene, and it’s very daunting in principle, but like tackling anything new, you can prepare by doing research, research, research.
I’ve collated some top tips to use at networking event– impeccable timing as we have a very important event this week as a company, where there will be multiple opportunities to get our network on. It’s the best opportunity to put these tips into practice
1. Do your research before the event (this is number one for a reason!)
It goes without saying that you should know where you’re going, and what the companies involved do, but to make sure you really impress, research key individuals that will be there. You don’t need to know where they went to primary school, or what they got in their Maths GCSE, but it does pay to know what their current role is, or whether you may have something in common. Get on social media and do some digging (LinkedIn’s best for business).
2. Like number one – take note of your commonalities when talking
Say you didn’t have time to do your research before the event…you can still work on eliciting personal things you have in common. For instance, someone’s talking to you about a recent experience they had – it’s easy to think of something you’ve done and make this relate. Don’t forget, you’re both at the same event, talking about that is a valuable ice-breaker.
3. Good old-fashioned body language works a treat.
An ‘open’ posture really does work when you’re networking. Having your legs and arms uncrossed makes you look a whole lot more approachable and interested. Oh, and keep your head up, hold a steady gaze, because you can’t network with the floor.
4. It’s about building relationships, not selling
If someone isn’t interested at the time, there’s no saying that they won’t be further down the line – or know someone else who is. Make someone remember you by listening to them and asking questions, as well as being interested in them personally, as opposed to just in a business sense. You can take this relationship back to the office with you, by connecting with them on LinkedIn, or leaving them with a business card.
5. It’s just as important that they know who you are
Don’t forget about yourself when it comes to networking. Go out there with a 60-second plan (or an elevator pitch so to speak) including who you are, what your role involves, what services you can offer, and who you’re looking to connect with. Hopefully, they’ll be just as interested in who you are as you are in them.
Get out there & get networking!