Getting the proper networking strategy can help your company grow. It doesn’t have to be frightening or traumatic and can be done in a way that benefits both parties. Having the right approach can help you build a network of contacts and resources that will allow you to make the most of your business networking event.
- Have The Tools
One of the most critical steps that you can take to improve your networking skills is to have the necessary tools at all times. These include a variety of business cards, brochures, and a pocket-sized file containing other professionals’ contact information.
- Know the Number of People You Will Meet
A way to improve your networking skills is to set a goal for the number of people you’ll meet. Based on the type of group you’ll be attending and the attendance total, determine a reachable goal of 15 to 20 people. If you’re feeling inspired, set a plan to meet more people, and ensure you have all their cards.
- Act Like A Host
While hosting a function, you’re expected to do something for the other people while the guest is relaxing. If you see people sitting, ask them if they’d like to meet others.
- Active Listening
After learning what other people do, tell them what you’re doing. Be brief and specific; don’t assume they know anything about your company.
- Don’t Try to Close A Deal
These types of events are not designed to be a place for you to try to sell your products or services. Instead, they’re a way to develop connections with other professionals.
- Give Referrals
The best networkers believe that the “givers gain” philosophy means that if they help others will benefit both of them. If you don’t genuinely intend to help the people you meet, you’re not doing a good job of networking. Provide relevant information to the people you’re meeting.
- Trade Business Cards
Another step that you can take is to ask each person that you meet for two cards. This will allow you to pass it on to another person and keep the other one.
- Manage Your Time
If you’re planning on meeting a certain number of people, ensure you only spend around ten minutes with each individual. If you’re interested in talking to someone new, set up an appointment and let them know you’ll be available later.
- Write Notes on Business Cards
Keep notes of all the details you’ve discussed with each person so you can easily recall them later. This will allow you to keep track of all the details that you’ve talked about.
- Follow Up
Although you can follow these nine commandments religiously, if you don’t follow through with your promises, you will waste your time and will be unable to improve your networking skills. The most important step is giving a call to each person that you’ve met.