So, you’ve agreed to go to a networking meeting and now you’re looking for some quick and easy tips to ensure you make the most of this opportunity. Well, thankfully, you’ve come to the right place! Here at People Matters we might not be experts on networking, but we have learnt a thing or two over the years.
These are our handy top three tips to make sure you make the right impression!
#1 – Do NOT be late
Most of us know that arriving late to a meeting is best avoided; however, when you have a networking event that open at, say 6.30pm, but doesn’t actually start until 7pm, it can be tempting to arrive at the later end of that window.
Nobody wants to be the first person in the room – but do you want to be the one rushing through, grabbing a drink, whilst everyone else is settling down?
OK, so maybe you don’t plan to arrive that late, but arriving any later than the first 10 minutes can be counter-intuitive. Being early means you can get yourself ready, pick a seat, see the room start to fill from a calm perspective, and even grab a few people to talk to whilst there is little competition for conversation. It can be a great way to get the ball rolling, rather than trying to break in to larger or well-established groups.
#2 – Remember, you don’t have to wait to be approached
Oh, wouldn’t life be easy if all we had to do was stand there and wait for everything to fall at our feet? Whilst standing on the edges, waiting for everyone to come and talk to you is certainly one approach, it’s arguably not the best. Therefore, accept early on that you are going to have to approach other people if you want to get involved in conversation.
Before you set foot in the room work out some easy openers that will get the conversation going. An exceptionally simple starter could be, “May I join you?”. People are unlikely to say no, so you’re immediately on to a winner. In most cases they may well start the conversation with you, but if not, you could follow up with something along the lines of, “What brings you here, today?”, “Have you been to this event before?”, “Have you had to travel far?” or comment on the venue.
#3 – Ditch pitch for passion
When networking you’re there to establish connections and in the long run build relationships. This means you must not start out with a sales pitch. Nobody wants to be sold to the second they start a conversation with someone.
However, you do want to get the opportunity to talk about what you do. Afterall, you’re not just there to make friends and have a trip out. So, instead, focus on what you are passionate about with your line of work. People will remember that long after anything else, and it leaves a very good impression, whilst being easy to engage with.
There are many aspects to networking, and lots of things you can do to help you make the right impression, and build long-lasting networks that work for your business. To learn more, book on to our seminar with Will Kintish here.
Thursday, 12 September 2019 from 13:00 to 17:00
Sedgley Park Rugby Club, Park Lane Suites, Park Lane, Whitefield M45 7DZ.