Articles From the Team
How do I network effectively? Top tips
Networking in today's market is becoming faster and easier than ever. With the increase of online networking sites in addition to social media, the face-to-face world of networking is fast-becoming undervalued. Today's professionals are time poor, so why would they want to spend their evenings attending networking events, making small talk, and drinking cheap chardonnay?
My thoughts: never underestimate the power of a face-to-face meeting. Networking is key to building relationships and connections, and a successful networking event can be worth its weight in gold. It’s not something we necessarily enjoy, so in order to make the most of your events, here are a few tips:
- Think happy thoughts! No, you aren't Robin Hood looking to fly away with pixie dust and happy thoughts, but you want to come across as approachable. Think positively and smile. These events can be nerve-wracking, but what’s the worst that can happen?
- Take note of body language. Individuals on their own are the easiest to target. If everyone's coupled-up or in small groups, check out their body language; do they look closed-off and in a conversation or open for you to step in?
- Knowledge is power. Do a bit of research into the event attendees and if there's anyone you're particularly interested in speaking to. Think of this as similar to a client meeting; set objectives: what do you want to achieve?
- Think of some topics of conversation. Yes, you'll no doubt need to talk about what you do and why you're there, but life’s not always about business! Think about small-talk topics: your thoughts on current affairs etc. Ask questions and be interested, not interesting…
- Be inclusive, not exclusive. Make sure everyone has a chance to get involved in the conversation – be the connector. When moving on, simply say “it was nice to meet you. I'd better meet a few more people before the end of the evening.”
- Follow up! Like you would after a client meeting, drop people who you met an email to say it was nice to meet them, or thanks for your time. These follow ups might lead to the business. Do it promptly or risk people forgetting you!
- Don’t. Get. Drunk. Need I explain this one?!