Networking: Our Top Tips
Networking is vital if you want to build you business, your career and your network. However, networking can be a scary experience. Each month we host our informal Networking Wednesday at Bloo88 in She eld. Below we will share our top tips on how to network better! We have tips to use before the event, when you’re at the event and then after the event! Check out the tips below and get ready for to become awesome at networking!
Before The Event
Create a 30-second pitch for your business
Time is precious at networking meetings, so you should be able
to get across the most important information about your business, including your unique selling point, in a short space of time. Practice introducing yourself with family and colleagues beforehand, until you feel con dent with your pitch.
Decide what you want to get out of it.
Do you want to make twenty
new contacts or one real quality contact? Are you looking for a new supplier, an investor, a mentor or new customers? Your reasons for attending should de ne how you approach the meeting and help you judge whether it has been a success.
At The Event
Look The Part
It’s important to look professional, so check that you’ve you got enough business cards and something to take notes with. Also remember to take a bottle of water in case no refreshments are provided.
Do not over-sell at a networking event
Networking is NOT selling. Networking is about building relationships, getting to know, like and trust others. By all means, talk about your products/services, as you are there to raise the pro le of your business, but sandwich ‘business talk’ between ‘small talk’.
Ask open-ended questions in networking conversations.
This means questions that ask who, what, where, when, and how as opposed to those that can be answered with a simple yes or no. This form of questioning opens up the discussion and shows listeners that you are interested in them.
Let’s face it; standing in a room
full of strangers is always going to be nerve-wracking. It can be quite tempting to stand quietly in the corner and wait for someone to come to you, but for the best results you will need to be proactive. After all, the point of networking is to talk to other people about what you do! Remember to make eye contact with people and, most importantly, smile.
Bring people standing alone into your conversation
They will be grateful to you for doing so, as you have taken them away from the uncomfortable position of standing on their own. Your kind act could eventually lead you to some new business via the person you helped in their moment of need.
When you arrive at an event, look out for those standing on their own, as they will often be the most open to meeting new people.
Getting to the venue early gives
you the opportunity to compose yourself, collect your name badge, and get your business cards and other promotional materials in order. It also gives you the opportunity to strike up conversations early. There is nothing worse than being the last person to turn up to a room full of people already deep in discussion.
After The Event
Follow through quickly and efficiently on referrals you are given.
When people give you referrals, your actions are a re ection on them. Respect and honour that and your referrals will grow.
Make sure you follow up with your new contacts
Follow up on new contacts as soon as possible with a short email or a quick phone call. If you’ve said you’ll do something, make sure you do it. By not doing so, you will undo all the good work you did at the event.
There you have it! Our top tips for networking! If you would like to learn more about JCI Sheffield, how you can get more confident, build your circle of influence, travel internationally and more then come and meet us at our Meet JCI Sheffield event on the 22nd March at Bloo88, West Street, Sheffield. Book now using this link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/meet-jci-sheffield-tickets-22633854468
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This post was written by Ryan Pilkington