Whether you’re launching a start-up or attempting to find fresh opportunities, networking events are an indispensable part of the game. Some lucky people dive right into these events and come out with five great leads and a new hiking mate. Except for others, these orchestrated events can be a total drag, full of embarrassing moments and dull small talk.
Whether you are a seasoned veteran or new to the networking scene, here are methods to make the most of these events.
Reminder: You are there to give, not get
Change your mind-set. You’re not there to get. Instead, you are there to contribute to the event, help others or simply discover what other pros are doing. This small change in thinking will boost your sense of purpose and self-worth and erase that overwhelming pressure. Before very long, you’ll find yourself having a good time, developing strong relations and enticing loads of referrals.
DON’T Be Desperate
Whether you are dating or networking, neediness is a major turn-off. As debated above, when your main purpose is getting something from the event, you send the message that you’re deprived of something ( a job, clients, clients ) and you are looking to the individual you are meeting to save you. So no matter how badly you want a job or new customer, you’ve got to set that aside when interacting with others.
Yes, you should prepare and practice answers to predicted questions like “So what do you do?” But these answers should be straightforward, natural and in simple English. Your goal is for any person ( not just those in your industry circle ) to understand and connect to what you’re saying.
And if you find yourself stuck on the tough end of a stuffy, jargon-filled elevator pitch, attempt to shift the dynamic with a simple query like “So what does that mean?” You will get into a natural, and fascinating, conversation.
Ask and Discuss Open-ended Matters
This is a great skill for anyone that can’t stand all of the incessant chit-chat linked with meeting people the first time. The goal here is to always ask folk questions that can’t be answered with an easy yes or no. Pick questions that demand a real answer, like, “How has your industry changed during the past ten years?” “What are your customers asking for the most?” and “Why do you think that is?”
As a general rough guide, “why” questions generate the most fascinating answers and chats.
Limit your Drinking
You may think that 1 or 2 stiff drinks will help you relax and mingle. There isn’t much wrong with a drink or two, but know your limit. When talking with potential bosses, clients or referrals, you want to be as sharp, clear and on top of your game as practicable and alcohol doesn’t always help in these areas. Actually new studies show that people are more likely to go over their limit when drinking at a work function than at a bar or party. Remember, you would like to portray yourself as somebody others wish to work with, not necessarily drink with.
Connect With Everyone
Perhaps your objective is to get a new job as a community manager, but you’re “stuck” talking to an IT engineer. Don’t write off the chance. I cannot tell you what number of folks have found a client or job thru someone who knows someone that knows someone. What’s the lesson here? Appreciate each person you meet, do not be dismissive, and never ever scan the room while speaking to somebody. You never know where a talk may lead.
Practice and practice
Think of networking like any other pro skill. While others in the room may look like born networkers, they are likely just more experienced. It is something you have to learn through trial and error. And the only way to boost is to just get out there and do it.