Attending a networking event or workshop can be intimidating even for the most confident of personalities. But the good news is, networking doesn’t have to feel awkward or uncomfortable, and you can easily make yourself memorable without it being for the wrong reasons!
Here’s eight tips to help next time you need to make an impression:
1. Be prepared to learn from everyone you meet.
By changing your mindset from hoping everyone you meet will be a potential client, to instead seeing everyone you meet as someone who can teach you something you will be immediately feel more confident in engaging in conversations. Networking is a great way to gain advice and expertise that you may not find anywhere else.
2. Ask questions
Make asking questions a priority at any event you are attending. people love to talk about themselves and if you are showing interest by asking questions you will instantly be more memorable, plus you’ll gain a whole lot of useful information to help you build relationships with people.
Ask more questions than you answer. People like to talk about themselves, but don’t be the one doing it, be the one asking the questions, that way people will want to know who you are.
When you get to ask a more formal question at an event, you’ll usually be asked to introduce yourself before you ask the question – which will instantly make you more memorable. So don’t be shy about asking questions at any events you attend, and go prepared to do just that. Make sure you mention your business in your introduction too so people can search for you online afterwards!
3. Don’t sell!
People really dislike being sold to but they do like to do business with people they like a trust. So take your sales hat off for the duration of the event and instead concentrate on building genuine relationships. If you are stuck for things to say, a compliment or a question usually goes down well.
4. Have your elevator pitch ready
When people ask you what you do make sure you are ready to answer them in as simple and concise a way as possible. If you’ve got 30 seconds to explain your business to someone what are you going to say to make sure they understand exactly what you offer and how you can help them? It can be hard talking about yourself or your business without feeling uncomfortable or like you are selling, but if you are prepared and have practiced this not only will they remember your business, they’ll remember your confidence.
5. Introduce yourself!
This may sound like an obvious tip but we all struggle with that awkward part of initiating conversations. So introduce yourself to as many people as possible and be the person who starts the conversations. You’ll be remembered for all the right reasons.
6. Make introductions
Consider how you can link other people together too, rather than just concentrating on the contacts you would like to make. It’s positive to be thought of as someone who makes good introductions and shares contacts and information.
7. Don’t leave early
The best, and most informal, conversations often happen at the bar after the event. So don’t leave early or you could be missing out on those vital opportunities to make connections you’d not expected.
8. Follow up
If you want to make the most of any connections you’ve made at an event, don’t forget to follow up.
Use any business cards you gathered to make connections on LinkedIn and if you don’t have time for email, send a short, friendly, video message via a Twitter or Facebook message to make an impression that will last.
Thanks to the following people for their contributions to this post: