Ever been to an event where you could only tell who’s who only because you saw them in the media? How about at a conference with well-known people from your industry, but none that you could approach? Yes, social gatherings can get intimidating and sometimes uncomfortable. However, there are simple networking tips you could always use anytime you find yourself in a new environment. These tips will help you develop mutually beneficial relationships regardless of your purpose whether it is to ask for advice, exchange information, build strong business networks or even broaden your connections.
To approach people you need confidence. According to Merriam Webster’s dictionary self-confidence is a belief that one will act in a proper, right or effective way. That said, there’s no other way to build confidence than to get out of your comfort zone. Shake that self-doubt, put your best foot forward and approach someone. With time you will realise that the more you put yourself out there, the more you build invaluable social skills and the more confident you become. After all, freedom is on the other side of fear. 5 tips to help you boost your self-confidence.
Prepare a few relevant points or questions you could ask the people you meet. They do not have to be about work only. Include topics like hobbies, ambition, passion, or even the event itself. The idea is to kick start a conversation and get it going. Remember to bring your business cards so that you can swap contacts with other people easily. Check out the five conversation starters that make you look interesting.
Unlike a sales pitch, networking is about giving rather than selling. It is about meeting and getting to know new people you may work with in future. You might assist them or they might help you. Therefore, find an easy way to engage the person you are talking to, by focusing on them rather than making the moment about yourself. It is not wrong to talk about yourself but put the priority on the person you are engaging. This could be by asking about their work, their goals, or their passion. The key is to foster trust and a long-term relationship. What better way to do it than be genuinely interested in what the other person has to say? Read more on how to network successfully.
Through the sharing of information, experiences, techniques and work challenges, you get to learn new ideas and perspectives from other people. They also get to learn from you and this leaves a lasting impression as well as builds your reputation.
The more events you attend the easier people will remember you. Being visible is essential in networking as it helps you grow relations as well as build a reputation. Therefore purpose to break away from the regular work routine by attending social events. Besides being a place to learn new things, exchange ideas and make acquaintances, events can be the avenue to help you stay abreast of the latest industry developments. Here are some other tips you can use as you network – 9 Networking Tips For The 21st Century Entrepreneur
I am a writer with interest in hair, beauty and fashion. I also like telling stories, but most of all I enjoy listening and reading them. If I'm not doing any of the above, I will be trying to crack a game of chess or monopoly. My biggest fear is being ordinary.