Networking plays such an important role in the success of a business. How many times have we found our best clients through networking events? Networking is an art that needs to be developped and if it is not used wisely, can turn into a waste of time.
Here are 6 networking tips I have learned in the last years:
Show up on time
Showing up on time, and even in advance will allow you to have a better control of the environment and will help you feel more at ease. People won’t have settled into groups and it will be easier to start conversations.
Be who you really are. That’s what people are looking for. Resist the urge to act like someone you are not. People will fall in love with your personality before they even hear about what you do. Relax, share stories, be you. This way, it will be easier to attract people with whom you will get along in the long run.
Do not hide your passion. Tell people why you started what you do, why you love what you do and what sense of purpose it brings to your life. People know that, when someone does something with passion, they will most likely do it well. They might not remember what you do but they will remember how your eyes lit up while talking about it. And that alone is enough to acquire clients, investors and partners.
Bring more cards than you think you need
Networking events can get hectic. Always bring more cards than what you think you will need. It is better to have more cards than needed than having to write your number on a napkin.
Be curious about what others do. Do not wait for people to tell you everything. Ask questions and listen carefully. The goal is not only to tell people about what you do but also to identify people with whom you can work in the future. It is important to stop talking and listen at some point.
Ask for business cards
Follow ups are crucial! After a great night of talking and eating a little too much, people tend to loose their excitement. It is important to keep cards and do a little follow up. Networking is where conversation, relationships, partnerships begins. Ask people for the best ways to stay in touch. Send an email, or place a phone call in the next 48 to 72 hours and always remind them of your name, where you have met and what has been discussed.
What is your best networking tip?