The festive networking season is upon us. Love it or loathe it, this time of year is the perfect opportunity to develop future partnerships and expand your client base.
To help you make the most of the Christmas calendar and avoid some hazards along the way, here are a few of our top networking tips:
1. Although it can be tempting, when you arrive at an event, don’t just gravitate to people you already know. Instead, find someone new to introduce yourself to. If you’re not sure who or how to approach, just try the simple, “Hi, may I join you?”.
2. Don’t use this as a time to sell! When you meet someone new for the first time, use it as an opportunity to listen. Begin to establish a relationship by asking them questions and getting to know them. It doesn’t have to be all business. Take the time to find out about their family, hobbies etc.
3. A popular anxiety about networking is how to move on from a conversation. Just be honest. Look the other person in the eye and say, “I’ve enjoyed talking to you (hopefully!). I must move on as there are a couple of other people I want to meet.”
4. Try and introduce and help others. People will always remember who pointed them in the right direction and who put them in touch with someone useful. They might do the same for you in the future!
5. Don’t forget to follow up. This may sound like obvious advice, but it’s very important. The sooner you follow up on a contact you met at a networking event, the more likely they are to remember your conversation and respond positively. Suggest a meeting or simply send them a link to something that could be of interest.
We’ve helped hundreds of professionals become more comfortable and effective when networking. To find out more, call +44 (0)870 428 8191 or email info@TheInfluenceBusiness.com.