Soon we’ll be back out in the open, chit-chatting and making up for lost time. In readiness for all of those lovely people we’re going to be meeting, we thought we’d share our networking check list with you. Read on and prepare to be the most sociable you have ever been!
- Reach out to contacts a week before the event.
“Networking is the No. 1 unwritten rule of success in business.”Sallie Krawcheck
- Research the social platforms for those that you know will be coming to the event.
- Meeting a client? Make sure you have their mobile number so you can update on your progress.
- If it’s a conference where you can ask questions, research a couple of them to ask at the end.
- Ask if you can get hold of a guest list or delegate list so that you can research beforehand.
- Remember to keep the conversation about them not you! And definitely don’t look around the room.
- Remember your business cards.
- Even if you vaguely recognise someone, make sure you go up to them with a smile.
- Bring a friend. It can be hard to boast about yourself but your friend, from another company, can!
- Ask thoughtful questions, having done your homework on the attendees first of course.
“The single greatest ‘people skill’ is a highly developed & authentic interest in the other person.”Bob Burg
- Introduce yourself with an anecdote that resonates. We all have that one liner or story about what we love or what our company does. Make the spiel personal.
- Be authentic, ask questions and start every conversation hoping to learn.
“If people like you they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you they’ll do business with you.”Zig Ziglar
- Try to make a new friend – it takes the pressure off.
- Have a goal.
- Dress to impress – not overly casual.
- Listen first, then speak.
- Have some good questions in your back pocket: What’s your primary role at your company? What projects are you working on right now? How did you get involved in your field?
- Share what you do in just 2-3 sentences.
- Don’t forget to follow up.
“All the time and effort put into networking can be all for naught if there is no follow-through. The same goes for sales. And leadership. And well, everything.”Beth Ramsey
- Aim to answer these questions: What motivates this person? What’s important to them? What energises them? What do they love to talk about? What shuts them down? What do they value?