Networking events: hate them or love them, they are a necessary part of life as business professionals. They let you meet like-minded people and make meaningful business connections; they may even get you a much-needed job or contracts.
With the potential benefits of networking, few of us plan ahead and think about how we can make the most of the opportunity. But below are fivetips that successful networkers use to connect and impress at business events.
Be True To Yourself
Thissimply means don’t try to be someone else. You will need to know your potential in order to be present, otherwise going to a networking event will be useless for you. Besides, you are the best person to represent you, no one else qualifies. No one can represent you better than yourself. Which means if you are on a path and know who you are, know your brand, and want to get started marketing yourself, networking is the next step.
Plan Your First Impression
Plan this first impression carefully, know that first impressions are very important, and you only get one chance to present yourself as you want the people you meet to remember. Keeping in mind that you don’t need to be decked out in your best suit or dress, but present yourself professionally. After all, you never know who you are going to meet. Show up with nothing less than the best version of you at each event.
Keep Business Cards Separated
Put the ones you hand out in one pocket and the cards you collect in another. If you mix your business cards with the ones you receive, you will end up shuffling a deck before long. This gives people the wrong impression that you are an indiscriminate and serial collector of business cards, and that you are disorganized.
So you have made the connection with those you would like to do business with, and everything is going great, they know about you, you know about their business and what challenges they face. Be sure to focus on the business professionals you meet, asking thoughtful questions, doing this gives you information to develop a strategy to work with them. Networking means that you value the person you are talking with, and you show a sincere interest in them rather than promoting yourself.
The is one strategy that needs to be implemented to attract the kind of clients you want to work with. The professionals that you connected with at the event need to hear from you. If you are not following up, you are not networking. Again, do not wait to be contacted, get those emails out. Stay in touch with any potential clients for future business dealings, which means work for you.