As a businessperson, you have a lot of responsibilities. An important task often overlooked is networking. It is an important part of raising awareness, finding potential investors or customers. For some, it comes naturally, but for others, it can be quite scary. With the right connections, you can meet individuals who provide advice, knowledge, and referrals to help you expand your sphere of influence.
So how do you successfully network? The following are some tips that will help you get the ball rolling.
1. Be prepared
First of all, you should know the kind of event you are attending. Is it a meeting or a black-tie, formal event? Obviously, this will dictate how you dress and help you recognize the right time to approach people. You also want to know who is participating and whether to reach out before the event or not. For formal events, give your look something extra by accessorizing with items from https://johnhenric.com/us/accessories/lapel-pins.
Be ready to explain simply and accurately what you do when someone asks. But remember, you aren’t here just to make sales pitches, you want to make connections too. The sales will happen later as you get to know the people you have met and created a connection with.
2. Be yourself and remember to smile
When meeting new people, you want to put your best foot forward but do not be afraid to show them who you are. You will always encounter people who appreciate you and those who don’t. Being real shows who you are, why you are passionate about what you do, and why they should get to know you.
Nothing is as inviting as a smile. Smiling makes you more approachable, and you seem friendly. It is relaxing and can be a great way to reduce the anxiety and stress of talking to new people.
It is easy to start rambling when you are nervous. You can easily take over a conversation and get distracted from your main point. When talking to someone, listen to 70 percent of the time. This shows that you value whomever you are conversing with and what they are talking about. Listening is an indication of sincere interest in what they are saying. You can show this by making eye contact, asking questions, and referring to people by their names.
4. Follow up
If all winds up well, you will exchange contact with people you meet. Maybe you exchange business cards, or they friended you on LinkedIn. Instead of storing this information, ensure you follow up with them. You can call, email, or reach out on social media within the first 48 hours of meeting them. Make a really good impression by referencing something you talked about when you met.
Every connection has two sides, and a key factor in networking is assisting others. Find ways to help those you have met. You earn trust by going above and beyond to help them. It takes courage to meet and converse with strangers but preparing well for your networking event, and smiling will ease the anxiety that comes with meeting new people.