Are you new to networking, unsure of what to do, or nervous and apprehensive about attending? Don't worry, we are on hand to help you.
Networking goes hand in hand with running a successful business, however many of us dread walking into a room and introducing ourselves to a bunch of strangers.
Take a look at some of our tips to help get you on the road to becoming a successful networker!
Resist the urge to arrive late. It's almost counter-intuitive, but showing up early at a networking event is a much better strategy than getting there on the later side. As a first attendee, you'll notice that it's calmer and quieter, people won't have settled into groups. It's easier to find other people who don't have conversation partners yet.
Ask easy questions. Don't wait around the edges of the room, waiting for someone to approach you. Simply walk up to a person or a group, and say, "May I join you" or "What brings you to this event?" Don't forget to listen intently to their replies. Listening can be an excellent way to get to know a person.
Ask open-ended questions. Who, what, where, when, and how as opposed to those that can be answered with a simple yes or no. This form of questioning opens up the discussion and shows listeners that you are interested in them.
Ditch the sales pitch. Remember, networking is all about relationship building. Keep your exchange fun, light and informal – you don't need to do the hard sell within minutes of meeting a person. The idea is to get the conversation started. People are more apt to do business with – or partner with – people whose company they enjoy.