Networking is one of the keys to your success as an entrepreneur. While we have all been able to do a bit of these online, research has shown that showing up at events, conferences and gatherings of like minds within and outside your industry is a smart way to grow your business through the power
Networking is one of the keys to your success as an entrepreneur. While we have all been able to do a bit of these online, research has shown that showing up at events, conferences and gatherings of like minds within and outside your industry is a smart way to grow your business through the power of networking.
We have put together seven simple and easy tips to make the best out of networking:
1. Networking is not about your business card. One great mistake people make is to think networking is about business card exchange. The idea is to connect with people, your business card is just a tool to create a face for yourself and your business. Focus more on connecting with people instead of just handling out your business cards.
2. Join conversations with respect. Waiting around for someone to actually come to you to start a conversation doesn’t work. Walk up to people and start or join conversations. Ask simple questions like “May I join you” or “What brings you to this event?” Don’t forget to listen intently to their replies. Listen as much as you speak. Networking is not about talking about yourself. It’s more about connecting with like minds for future purposes.
3. Ditch the sales pitch. Hey, you are here to build relationships and now sell yourself. Focus more and that rather than trying to close sales at networking events. One thing we have discovered is that the people who make the best out of networking are those who focus on relationships. Trying to sell to people the first time you met them outs them off.
4. Share your passion passionately. There’s a saying, if you not passionate about what you do, no one else will. When you meet people and conversations are on about your business, idea or anything you represent. Show how passionate you are about it. The enthusiasm in your voice will spread to other. Ensure your are doing this without forcing sales on people
5. Smile. If I walk into a room looking for who to talk to, chances are I would work towards the people on whose faces I can see beautiful smiles. You can never go wrong with smile, While this Is often overlooked, it’s one if the reason most people don’t get approached during networking events. Be the awesome smiling person people want to talk to
6. Don’t take over people’s conversation. When you notice you are the only one talking and every other person is nodding their head. Hello, You have hijacked the conversation. Now this is a point you need to slow down and start listening and be eager to ear from others. Remember, It’s not always about you. It’s about the people you are connecting with it.
7. Show up, follow up. Showing up at events is one thing, following is another. The key to keeping your contacts close is to follow up and keep in touch. Do ensure you follow up within 48hrs after the event when everyone can still remember every thing.
Editor’s Note: This piece first appeared on Printivo.com