Are you making a fool of yourself and your business, because you don’t know how to network at an event properly?
Learning the art of networking is an integral part of business. There is definitely a genuine way to self-promote so you don’t seem pushy, dominating or needy.
- Setting a good first impression sets the tone for all introductions, so dress like you mean business.
- If standing, stand with both feet solid, if sitting sit up. Never have your arms crossed and always have a smile.
- Prepare a short answer ready for the ultimate question “So what do you do?” Don’t sound overly boastful or too technical.
- Remember your business cards. It’s not about gathering as many cards as possible and distributing all yours. If you have a genuine connection with a person then swap cards, if not don’t, it’s a waste of time and paper.
- Listen more than you speak and never interrupt. Take a genuine interest in what others are saying.
- Food and drink is merely present as an icebreaker. Limit the amount consumed and remember your table manners.
Connect & Network
- Networking is about connecting and finding a common interest with others. Do not try to directly sell your product or service.
- Remember your manners by introducing others and not hogging the conversation or any one particular person.
- One way to connect is ask open-ended questions.
- Some networking groups are just not for you. If you find no connection then move on to another group.
- Calculate the amount of time you spend on networking. It’s about quality of time not quantity.
- Each time you swap business cards follow up with an email within 24 hours.
Networking is about making business connections for now and the future. To be successful your credibility, approachability and communication skills must reflect a positive professional image.
Cosimina Nesci is an image consultant who is passionate about helping others realise their potential by looking and feeling their absolute best. She has transformed the lives of private clients and worked with organisations as varied as large retailers to individual business owners all with the same goal – getting their image/brand right.