5 Strategies that will take the WORK out of Networking!
Networking! It can drive the introverted business person to the corner and the eager beaver to the mirror practicing their elevator speech. But, let’s get you somewhere in the middle. Networking events are one of my favorite ways to do business. Because, you’re not really doing business. If you can remember this one thing, you will always have a good time and make some great connections at the next Business After Hours you attend. That one thing is – a networking event isn’t a place to do business, it is a place to make and build relationships.
Having said that – there is one more thing - Even before you head out the door, you should know what your goals are for the event. Are they to meet a specific person, 10 new people, or reconnect with a past client you know will be there? Set a goal. I know, I say set goals for everything, but I am a true believer in goals. If you have a goal to walk out of this event having made 10 brand new connections, that will be on your mind and therefore, it will happen. Here are some strategies to help get to that goal.
Grab some business cards, a pen and let’s go networking!
Be mentally Prepared
You tell yourself, “I’ve been to hundreds of these things – this is just one more, same as the last.”. And you can certainly look at it that way, head right to the buffet and have a snack. Or, you can get yourself in the right mindset. You’ve just worked all day. How did your day end? Are you feeling frazzled? Have you drunk enough water? Before heading out try grabbing a cool glass of water, sitting in a quiet place (mine was always my car), and close your eyes for 5 minutes. Think about what your goal is, think about how great it will be to connect with people you know and haven’t’ seen for a while, think about those that will be pleased to see and meet you.
Being in an alert, relaxed state of mind will open you up to all the possibilities of the next couple hours. Would you want to walk up to someone you’ve never met that is on edge and jumpy? Pretty sure no! Why not make it easier for people to approach you – of course, with your goal, you will be doing most of the approaching! Put a smile on your face and head on in!