You know the virtues of networking, but are you networking like a champion? If you’re really good at creating and maintaining relationships, you reap the practical rewards: a steady flow of opportunities, meaningful relationships, and professional recognition. People who are good at networking know it.
Here’s what successful business people do to win at networking events:
Win 1: They Actually Network by Planning to Network
People who plan their networking activities are light years ahead even before they shake someone’s hand. They don’t wing it. Planning for networking activities allows them to manage resources. The resource I’m referring to is time. It costs money to be somewhere, so expert networkers make it count. One way to prepare for a networking event is to look for its online footprint. Check out social media accounts of the event or company hosting the event. See what people are saying about it. Decide if it’s worth your time. Prepare and look for desired outcomes: who are you trying to meet and will they be in the room?
Win 2: They Don’t Expect Too Much Right Away
Relationships are cultivated not born. Experienced networkers don’t treat every meeting like a transaction. Instead they go in understanding meetings segue into earned trust and recognition with a stranger. That stranger may end up a customer or strategic partner, but in the beginning information gathering and familiarity set the stage for future communication and success.
Win 3: They Don’t Cover the Room in Business Cards Like Confetti
They hand business cards out to people who they actually engage with, not everyone they make eye contact with. They’re not tempted by the urge to value quantity over quality.
Win 4: They Don’t Talk About Themselves
Well, they do at some point, but mostly they listen. They know to ask the other person questions “like why are you here?” or “how can I help you?” Listening to another person is the cornerstone of relationship building.
Win 5: They Don’t Hide During the Event
Introverts, I’m looking at you. Awesome networkers know that they’re talking to people not monsters. Can’t talk to the whole room? Break it down into little bites, walk over to the one person standing by themselves. Learn to give a firm handshake and be prepared to ask questions – people like to talk about themselves.
Win 6: They Feel Comfortable with Their Introduction
When someone asks them what they do, they don’t ramble on for minutes. They prepare a 30 second intro that covers what they do, why they do it and who they help.
What tactics do you use to be an effective at networking events?
Create an environment for success by being intentional about your networking activities. Rainmakers members have access to Rainmakers University where they can tackle common business development obstacles like networking, goal setting and more.