By Tammy Levent
A common piece of advice in business is that you should network at events to get your name/your company’s name out there. This is great advice, but it’s incomplete. There are right ways and wrong ways to network and I’ve got five simple steps you can take to be a better at networking in no time!
1. Find events that are right for you. Don’t just go to every networking event that is out there. Some of them are simply not worth your time. Find out what type of businesses will be represented at the event and only go if you think it will benefit your business. Yes, in a field like travel pretty much any event might be filled with people you could sell to, but if you are specifically targeting brides-to-be then you want to be amongst brides and other wedding vendors for optimal networking conditions.
2. Do your research ahead of time on the potential attendees. One good thing about social media is people will often create event pages for various networking events. This is great because you can typically find out who will be at the event beforehand. This gives you a prime opportunity to research people and determine who you want to connect with once you arrive.
3. Be fully present while networking. If your intent is to make connections, don’t spend every moment with your phone attached to your thumbs texting and playing online. It’s amazing how the simple act of paying attention to others and really listening to them can make such a significant impact.
4. Ask about the people you are talking to instead of making it all about you. Everyone knows that the whole point of networking is to give your elevator pitch, but you will leave a more lasting impression on people who you engage with rather than start selling to right away.
5. Follow up afterward! This is probably the most important and yet most commonly skipped step. Send an email after the event to each person you interacted with saying something as simple as “it was so nice to meet you.” You could also make it a call to action saying something such as “If you ever need a travel agent I hope you will think of me” or “If you would be interested in strategically partnering in the future for the benefit of both of our businesses let me know.” If they respond, keep interacting. If not, follow up again in a week or two.
I hope these five steps inspire you to be a better networker. Who knows? Your next big business break could be waiting for you at your next networking event!
Contact Tammy today!