18 May Three tips for networking smarter
Networking: love it or loathe it, you want to make the best use of the time you have at networking events, and that doesn’t mean simply collecting as many business cards as you can. Use our three steps and you’re bound to come out on top at your next event.
Hold on to your business cards
Unless you’re looking to build a house of business cards after the event, don’t fall in to the trap of grabbing every single attendee’s details. The real goal of an event is to socialise – you’re more likely to be remembered by someone who had a memorable conversation with you, than someone you flew by after a one-minute chat. Leave work behind and get to know the person you just shook hands with; unless you can hold their interest, you won’t make a meaningful connection.
There is more to a person than their job
Don’t let someone’s current job put you off connecting with them. By getting to know someone at the event, you might be surprised by where they have worked in the past or would like to work in the future – this is how the golden opportunities open up. By letting other attendees do the talking and asking them open ended questions, you will learn a great deal more and forge connections rather than just scoring a business card. A good kind of question to ask when meeting someone is about why they did something. Through their answer, you will learn more about the person and their motivations.
Two peas in a pod
Everything is more fun with someone you know, including attending networking events! Bringing a friend or colleague can help different people in different ways – it can attract people to join your conversation, or make the event seem less intimidating. Your small group might allow you to slip off and mingle – knowing there are people to return to if you, or attract other attendees to come and converse, if they are intimidated by other, larger groups.
Do you have any tips on networking? Share them with us in the comments below.