A lot of people find it difficult to attend networking events however, networking is one of the keys to accelerate your success, confidence and growth.
When you think of networking think about it in terms of making new friends.
Below are some powerful techniques you can implement.
Be real and build authentic relationships
Be down to earth and be you. We have found that the best networking comes from genuine relationships and friendships. No matter who you’re trying to build a relationship with, treating them as a friend first rather than a business contact will take you much further.
There is more to someone than “What do you do?”
There is more to a person than “What do you do for work?” When networking, try and think about how you would approach a friend, keep it light, show that you care and above all be yourself.
Quality not quantity
It’s more valuable to develop connections with 3 quality people at an event, than 20 rushed ones. So take your time and get to really know the person you are speaking with. You will also find some events are based on learning or inspiration as opposed to getting a business contact.
This may come naturally for some people or extremely difficult for others but practise makes perfect. Try and catch yourself every time you lose focus and implement personal techniques to get you to refocus.
When speaking with someone make sure you:
- Maintain eye contact
- Respond with relevant questions
- Act as a sponge and try and soak everything up
- Be present and focused
Be nice to everyone
Don’t brush people off because they do not fit within your “target market”. What you may not realise is that each person could potentially introduce you to someone that is within your target market or that could change your life. People know people, so be nice to everyone.
Follow up is key
The most important part of networking and building strong relationships is to follow up.
A good way to do this is to diarise some time after the networking event to send a follow up email to organise a coffee or lunch catch up.
Practise makes perfect (Get a coach if you need to)
Finally, attend as many networking events as you can (both personal and professional events would be ideal). Stand back for a few minutes each time you attend an event and watch others interact with one another. You may find this to be very beneficial and you will learn quick tips fast.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask a coach to mentor you for a few sessions, they will provide honest and constructive feedback to help you grow.