Network like a pro
Networking events are among the top best places to create that professional contact list that will help you expand your organization, grow your business and help you find new opportunities. Unfortunately, when people think about networking, there are a series of negative perceptions and emotions exhibited with a general dislike of the idea of going out and meeting new people. This reaction can be as a result of past failures because you are just doing it wrong…. yes, there is such a thing as wrong networking. But don’t worry, with the right set of tips and attitude, you will be wishing for the next networking event. Network like a pro with these tips and watch your attitude change and your professional list grow.
1. TAKE THE LEAD
You are not the only person at the event feeling low, self-conscious or slightly uncomfortable. Trust me, as high as 40% of the individuals in the room are feeling the same, so why not take initiative and say hi to the person next to you while pouring a cup of coffee, they might just be the key to your dream opportunity.
2. BUILD A RELATIONSHIP
So, you have taken the initiative to say hi, good job. Now here is something you should absolutely not do at first… ask for a favor. As much as you have attended the event to grow your career and organization, avoid bringing the “I am looking for an investor/funding’ statement as the first thing you say. Instead ask a more general and unrelated questions that will help you get to know that person better and build a foundation that can likely end up in a relationship that can later be used to your advantage.
3. NAIL THE FIRST IMPRESSION
This is a very sad but true fact. A lot of people often fail in making a good first impressions by simply forgetting someone’s name. That is embarrassing and honestly, it makes the other party feel like you are more interested in their influence rather than them as an individual. So, start remembering those names.
4. GIVE VALUE
Before asking for something, do you have anything to offer? Try a different tactic , approach an individual with something on the table.For instance, if your startup handles design and branding you can approach an individual who has stated that their organization is searching for branding consultant, offer your services to them at a discounted rate or as a partnership proposal where both parties benefit.
5. BE A CONNECTOR
Have you ever interacted with an individual who seems to know the right people for the job? Looking for a marketing consultant, they know just the right guy; who happens to be at the same event. Need advice from a tech-preneur, they have a number. These guys are like hot cakes, everyone wants to talk and be around them. Being this guy is super easy. Start by following the first four steps outlined above, make those connections and having them at the back of your mind as you continue to network, they might just come in handy. Who doesn’t like a connector?
6. FOLLOW UP
The most important thing you need to do after the networking event is follow up. This can be by simply sending an email with the contact information of an individual, sending suggestion to the person taking their next trip on a cool place they should visit or even inviting them over to your organization to take a tour and see how things work. This is the cherry on top of the cake.
With the above tips and tricks, you are going to be the next hotcake and networking pro at the next networking event with a professional list, good friends and connections that will help you grow, expand and find new opportunities. Give this a try in your next event and let us know how it went on the comment section below.