Many of you have asked how to network successfully and this topic keeps arising in our business connections. In fact, I have been asked to speak at the Leamington Chamber After Hours event on June 21st, 2017 on this very topic. Keep sending your comments and feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are some tips on how to network with confidence. How many of these have you tried?
1. Arrive early. Don't forget to also Linger longer. Make time for each event and do not feel rushed. Sometimes the best connections are made before and after the actual event you are attending.
2. Bring lots of business cards (caught only once without a card and good story here, if interested just ask). If you have no cards you may want to ensure you have some before attending all events or you may want to consider not attending an event without your cards.
3. Take a genuine interest in each person you meet and ask them to tell their story. Learn to focus, listen and ask questions. Block those around you and yes it can be distracting and will take some practice for some.
4. Set a goal to meet three new people. Set realistic goals and your number may be higher or lower. It is not a race to collect as many business cards as you can!
5. Listen attentively (remember names!). It's OK to say "sorry, I forgot your name" and then say thank you "NAME" for reminding me.
6. Ask for the other person' business card. When they offer their card then you should offer your card.
7. Introduce the person you just met to someone else. Be a connector and introduce people and encourage them to share their stories as you walk away and make a new connection or connect others.
Bonus Tip: No direct selling or sales pitch. Yes, everyone is selling all the time. Everyone. However, nobody wants to be "sold" especially at an event.
What are your tips to network with confidence?