Effective networking is important to both business and social occasions, especially when it comes to hosting events, groups and clubs. As well as projecting yourself as professional and knowledgeable, it can also be vital to raising awareness and acquiring important contacts.
Here are some of our top tips for becoming a great networker and getting the most out of your events.
Get to Know People
Good networkers know that initially, networking is not about ‘selling’. Trying to convince somebody to join your club or group within minutes of meeting them is likely to put them off because you won’t have showed an interest in them and what they do. If you get to know people first, a natural relationship will develop and sure enough, opportunities will follow.
The best networkers attract people towards them without having to make much of an effort because they are the sort of people that others enjoy spending time with. Always coming across as upbeat, positive and enthusiastic means that people are much more likely to warm to you, remember you in the future and importantly, even recommend you to others. If you are excited about your club or group then other people naturally will be and as a result they will be far more likely to join.
People often form perceptions of others based on their position, authority and experience. It can be easy to feel intimidated by those who are incredibly successful or high up in a company but it’s important not to fall into the trap of seeing the title rather than the person. Great networkers tend to see a person for who they are and are brave enough to approach them in the first place, which can make all the difference. No matter who it is, if there is someone in particular you want to invite to join your club or group, don’t be afraid to ask because you just never know who might be interested.
When someone recommends you, gives you a referral or chooses to invest in you in some way, they want to know that you are committed for the foreseeable future. For example, if you attend a networking event and encourage people to join your sports group but then never update it or plan any events, people will very quickly lose interest and are unlikely to invest their time in you again.
Know Your Audience
In order for your networking efforts to be successful, it’s vital that you talk to the right people. Every time you sign up to attend an event ask yourself if it’s a good fit, if people you are looking to attract are going to be there and whether or not you think you will get quality ‘leads’ from it. For example, if you are looking for people to join your fitness group, a business networking event is unlikely to be the time or place to find the audience you are looking for.
Never Stop Networking
Believe it or not, you don’t have to be at a pre-planned networking event to meet the people you are looking to attract. Regardless of whether you are at a meeting, the pub or a coffee shop, it’s always worth being prepared because people often find that the best opportunities come from the individuals and places they least expect.
Do you have any valuable tips for successful networking? Why not share your tips and advice with us below.