The word Networking has some people cringing. They think it is futile; some others maximize any opportunity to meet and grow their relationships. Some other people go to networking events and stay with a friend in the corner till the event is over. Some people don’t like the idea of meeting new people. What is the best way to get the best out of a networking event?
1. Set reasonable goals. When attending an event where you intend to network and meet people, set goals ahead of what you intend to achieve by attending the event. Do you want to check out a new organization? do you want to have a good engagement with at least 3 people? Are there specific persons or people you want to meet? This helps you keep focus and eliminate most distractions when you are at the event.
2. You have two ears and one mouth for a reason: A networking event is not a time to go on talking about yourself and what you do nonstop. Make it a point of duty to listen graciously and make meaningful contributions to what the person is saying. Keep people engaged with you and you will get your chance to talk about yourself and what you do. Listening allows you know the other person better and know how you can be of service to them. You will miss out on this information if you go on speaking about you!
3. Pay attention to your message: Keep in mind that you will be meeting new people who will make decisions about relating with you; 55% of that decision is based on your appearance. Your clothes and appearance have a huge role in conveying a message about you of warmth, trust and competence. Pay attention to dress codes when given and if not given, dress formally. it is easier to err on the formal side than to be informal. Keep a smile on your face, Give firm handshake and perfect your speech,so when you introduce yourself you can in a few seconds tell what you do to keep them interested to learn more on this click here:
4. About that Conversation hog! It is not uncommon to meet someone who corners you and keeps on talking with no end in view. They keep you to themselves and when you have intentions to meet other people, it becomes distracting from your goal. The truth is conversation hogs don’t know they are one. So, it’s best to be gracious to them, tell them how nice it was to meet and chat with them but you have intentions of meeting other people in the event.
5. Business card etiquette: Don’t go around distributing your business card like a brochure, use your business cards wisely. Give out your business card when you have built a rapport and you have the other party interested in furthering the relationship.
6. Keep in touch: This is the conversion process that determines your success in developing and maintaining successful relationships. Keep in mind that successful relationships does not just happen, but it is nurtured and built over time. Follow up by email, personal note or a brief call letting them know it was a pleasure to meet them and also send anything that might be relevant to their industry any article, information you think might be useful.
Remember that success in networking is relationship based. The ability to develop and maintain business relationships goes a long way in determining your success.
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