August 8, 2017
The Secret To Networking With Confidence
In order to maximise the business value of networking – for example at a congress – you must first have some sort of goal in mind prior to the event. This helps you to better manage your time and differentiate between beneficial networking opportunities or otherwise.
On top of educational opportunities and gaining inspiration, the people you meet when networking can lead to the formation of important relationships which can shape the future of your business success. In Julia Kendrick’s experience, she has been able to hone in on the secrets to successful networking, and now is able to share her top tips with you!
You can never do enough research prior to events. Find out who the guest speakers and presenters are, who among your peers is going to be attending alongside you, and figure out who you’d most like to meet.
You should make the first move and reach out to them before the event if you can. Social media is a great way to do this, but be sure to have something to offer that makes you worth talking to. How can you help this person? This will set you apart from everyone else and with any luck you’ll be able to arrange something one-on-one rather than struggling to make time on the day. Simply by paying someone a compliment online you can initiate a conversation.
If you prefer, you can ask a mutual acquaintance to introduce you to a new connection as well.
Don’t get caught in the mentality that giving out as many business cards as you can is a sure-fire way to make connections. Take charge of who you connect with by asking for a card from those that you want to stay in touch with, and then you can be sure to connect with them online later using the details you’ve gained. Make sure you always personalise your message so as to genuinely connect with someone and stand out from the crowd.
Take a break
You don’t have to attend every panel, and you’ll find that other areas such as the break room and the snack bar are great places to meet people. You can always catch up on the notes from the panel but once you miss an opportunity you can’t get it back. Often, you’ll bump into people who have either arrived late or stepped out for a break, like yourself.
Make it memorable
This has been a running theme throughout these tips, and so it should be. When you do get the chance to engage with someone, you don’t want to waste this valuable time with idle small talk. Ask engaging questions that will get people talking about something they really care about so that you maintain their interest and gain an interesting response in return.
Being memorable could be as simple as sticking to a signature style so that you are easily recognised and picked out of a crowd of people. Think about it!