It very important to attend local business events. For example, your city’s or borough chamber of commerce might host gatherings for people in your industry. Additionally, it’s worth hitting up meetings for professional associations and societies related to your field.
Before attending meetings or events, take the time to determine what your goals are for the experience. For example, you might want to make new connections, donate your time to the community, or simply learn about the latest developments in your business or industry.
Create a social social hour for yourself and business You can even make business connections at your child’s school activities and sports events. After all, parents are typically looking for something to chat about besides what’s happening on the soccer field!
If you can’t articulate what it is you do, then you can’t hope to convey that information at networking events. Whether your goal is to generate referrals or simply build your virtual rolodex for the future, you should take time to generate an elevator pitch that conveys what you do, for whom you do it, and why customers should choose you over your competition.
Most people fine it difficult to have a conversation with stranger during an event If you have a friend or co-worker who’s also looking to expand their network, consider attending professional events as a twosome. Just be sure you make an effort to connect with other attendees rather than sitting in the corner chatting the whole time.
Networking can be challenging for those who are shy. First, consider brainstorming icebreakers before a networking event, so you don’t have to come up with ideas on the spot. Second, feel free to take a breather if you get overwhelmed. Go to the restroom, take a walk, or grab a coffee. You can return to the room refreshed and ready to meet new people.
Making connections is only half the battle; you also have to take steps to keep the relationship going. Even if you aren’t currently job hunting, strive to reach out to your contacts a few times a year to follow up. You could forward a relevant article, invite them to a seminar or conference, or even just send a friendly note during the holidays.
Do not start your conversation with a negative vibes. When searching for conversation starters, avoid speaking negatively about former companies or co-workers. After all, you don’t want potential contacts thinking you’d say bad things about them given the opportunity.
it’s important to remember that networking is about give and take. If you’re always the person asking for favours, the relationship is unlikely to last. For best results, look for opportunities to help your networking contacts prosper in their own careers.
If you want your networking efforts to be a success, you have to be bold enough to ask for assistance. Before attending that next meetup or seminar, make sure you can articulate what it is that you’re seeking. Then, when someone asks how they can help you, tell them the truth.