Networking: Now, I know for some of you this word will make you want to hide in a hole and not come out until the word no longer exists BUT, you don’t have to be scared! With these top tips, you can become a networking Queen! If you already love networking, however, carry on reading, we can help you love it even more also whilst helping you improve further.
- Be prepared – Get your hands on the guest list, have a look at the people you want to meet and gather some information on them, such as: what was their latest blog post about? Have they recently relocated? Knowing these things can be a great conversation starter and lets the person you’re talking to know you’re interested in them.
- Set goals – Before you head off to your networking event, set a few goals. What do you want to get out of the experience? Five warm connections? To discover industry trends? To find someone you can refer business to? Once you know what you are aiming for, the experience will feel much easier.
- Remember what networking is! – Networking isn’t about who can get the most business cards or who can gain the most clients by the end of the event; it’s all about who you meet. The more people you create relationships with, the greater the diversity is in your contact base, meaning you will become more successful!
- Mix and mingle – Work the room, rather than sitting down and staring into space until the food is being served, engage in mutual conversation, involve others and try to have a few warm interactions. This leads onto the next point.
- Become the Queen of conversing – When it comes to networking, mastering small talk is key! We all dread that awkward silence, so prepare at least 3 topics to talk about if you need to keep the conversation flowing.
- Be skilled at listening – 20% of conversation is talking which means 80% is listening. Communicating well and listening well are very important when networking, so try not to interrupt, keep the focus away from yourself and open your mind.
- Be confident and brave! – Being brave is a lot easier said than done, but just pushing aside your fears, becoming confident in yourself and approaching others will become less stressful every time. Act like you are the host, and make sure everyone is happy and mixing well, so put your hostess hat on and get mingling!
There are many benefits to networking. Friendships are made, opportunities arise, and advice and assistance are always available. By putting these tips into practice, you will never think twice about going to a networking event again!