Whether it is at a meeting, a conference, a party, or just a social event there is a definite skill to being an effective networker. See below for more tips to successful networking.
These tips build on our other tips "How to be a successful networker"
1. Be prepared
Effective networkers always have their networking tools with them at all times. The networking tool kit includes: an ample supply of business cards, your name badge, and any material including flyers and brochures.
In the digitial world, this also means a quick method to share contact details. Where someone takes your card but doesn't have one of their own, make sure you get at least an email or phone number. Ask if they are on LinkedIn. Keep in control of the contact as the other person may 'forget' to connect with you!
2. Arrive early
Good networkers will arrive early, so they can relax and focus on learning about the other people in the eeting. This means you can calmly spend time networking ahead of the session, and you will make a good firs impression.
3. Have a plan
Always have an idea of what the goal is for each event they attend. Know, before going in, what the outcome is that you want for yourself or for the people you meet at each event. Do you want to meet 3 people and focus on getting to know them really well? Are you looking for an introduction to a certain type of client? Are you looking for information or connections that will get you that information? When you have a plan, it is easier to stay focused and achieve your expected outcome.
4. Really listen to others
When someone is speaking with you, give that person your entire focus. Listen. and really hear what the person is saying. You need to truly hear what that person is saying. Think back to your coaching sessions, listen more and talk less.
5. Be genuine
Everyone knows when someone is trying to sell them something and let's be honest, no one likes being "primed" for the sell. Be genuine in your interactions with others at an event. Again, it comes back to building trust. There is a huge difference between 'being interested' and 'trying to be interesting'. When you are interested in learning about someone and their business entirely for the sake of learning about the other person, you will leave a lasting impression as someone who is genuine.
6. Follow up
After the event, send an e mail to each person that you had direct contact with. Mention something that you discussed. The follow up is often, the most neglected part of networking. Since so many people fail to follow up, you can really stand out by just doing this simple act of reaching out to remind someone of who you are and what you do ... and that you are interested in exploring a relationship.
To summarise effective networkers will build strong relationships, dig deep, and make the continued effort to build ongoing relationships!