Three Tips for Networking Novices
What is it that grants networking experts their advantage? Is it their love for talking business and the fact they were born with the personality of an extrovert? Are they perfectly prepared for every forum they go to, or are they natural artists when meeting new people in novel places? Sure, going to a networking event is supposed to be enjoyable in the first place. Yet there is a certain kind of person that stands out at these events. Why? Because they’ve done their homework.
#1: Pitch Yourself.
These kinds of professional events are great chances to find out not only how you can help others’ businesses, but how they can help you. In order to do that you have to know the top selling points of your business — and of yourself as well. Condense the best points of yourself into a fifteen-second “elevator pitch,” and learn it inside and out. Let your pitch evolve as you find ways to make it better.
Culture-FX is proud to foster a stress-free environment. We do not stress immediate lead exchanges between members; we promote trusting, genuine connections between people of many different industries. When you’re at one of our events, you’re with friends. Make your introduction to the group, speak for yourself and your company as if you were talking among friends. You’re the only one in the room that knows why your company is important, so its your duty to let everyone know how you can help them out.
#2: Research the Meeting Space.
Before you go to any new networking event, ensure you find out more about it. Who is putting the event on, and for what reason? Is it being held at a banquet hall, or perhaps a business location? In order to find this information, you’ll need more than just the building’s address. Do a net search for the sponsor organization, and any recent related events. This will lead you to information on any dress code, and any newcomer group customs they might have. Having knowledge of the presenter, the event’s history, or the group will provide you with more than enough to talk about with the other people attending. Besides, a few more searches will reveal information you can easily turn into compliments and questions for the hosts and presenters.
#3: Be Attentive.
If you’re new to networking events, the best thing to do is make an appearance earlier than everyone else. Showing up first ensures that you’re immediately talking with people as soon as everyone else starts to arrive. Sometimes you’ll be given a seating assignment when you get to the room. Try and avoid the temptation to head straight to your table. Instead, grab a drink and stand near the entrance or another high traffic area. This will alert others, letting them know you’re ready to network.
As you’re talking with people, try and stay aware of others that you could invite to join in on your conversation. If you see someone’s ears perk up nearby, and they’re standing along, that’s a great time to invite that person in. In larger events and formal forums, take care to ensure your message is clear, and that you’ve gotten all salient information from the people you’ve met in the event you don’t see them again. Smaller, more regular meetings give event-goers the advantage of facilitating more solid relationships beyond simple formal introductions.