Following on from MasonJones Clever Business Networking earlier this year and my experiences of setting up and operating a small networking group, I thought it would be beneficial to provide my experiences and top networking tips that I found to to be really helpful upon meeting new people, networking comfortably and feeling part of the “room”.
We all know networking can be a daunting experience upon joining a new group and trying to make your presence and point light up in a large room full of people is one of many hurdles. So chin up, shoulders back and dive right in there with my top 6 tips of networking…
1. Arrive Early
Arriving early will immediately remove the daunting prospect of walking into a full room and trying to work your way through lots of business people and business cards! Be the one of the first in the room and ready to network with the next people coming through the door.
Linking into arriving early, why not volunteer to help out with the networking group – this could be general duties from signing people in, dealing with payments, setting up sitting areas, putting out business cards, leaflets etc. These jobs or duties on a voluntary basis will give you further purpose to the networking group and you will also be a massive help to the organisers!
3. Enhance Your Business Card
Business cards will provide that point of familiarity after leaving the networking setup. It will also be one of the first points of action upon meeting someone new (swapping business cards) – make sure yours stand out from the crowd, be different and give your potential connection something to really remember you by on your business cards! Everyone will be different, it’s remembering that person standing out!
4. Magic Number
Set a general target or magic number for the amount of people you would like to talk to or integrate with upon arriving – why not ask for a list of attendees upon arriving or before hand. This will set you up ready to setup that magic number in your mind. Quality over quantity can also be a massive benefit.
5. Give Before You Receive – Listen
Networking isn’t about entering the room to make a hard sell with your products – it’s about building relationships over a period of time. Between everyone in the room you will know someone who can help someone (if not yourselves directly). Why not take a different approach and provide support/advice to a fellow networker by giving before making the hard sell and receiving straight business. You will then pickup business along the way once the trust has grown, guaranteed!
6. Follow Up – 48 Hour Rule
Make sure that a friendly but targeted email is sent out to the connections you make, this can be a great to meet you message, meet up for a coffee and follow up or any further information that was needed by your connection or the other way round – don’t let either the lead or follow up message go cold and post the 48 hour period!Categories: Tips