Once I went to a conference where one of the members was giving a lecture on business. He delivered a very beautiful line that attracts me the most. He told that business is all about how you elongate your network through your ways of doing work. We can take the example of a shop owner. If he doesn’t know the way of selling the products then surely he will be in loss. To elongate one’s network one should know all the proper ways and I think the way of speaking matters the most. A customer is always attracted towards the good speaking. Are you familiar with the expression, “your network is your net worth?” This phrase continues to ring true, especially today, as the opportunity to interact with new business contacts has become more efficient. Whether through the conference, trade shows or other industry-related events, networking has taken on a new meaning in the digital age.
These increased means of networking, however, must be taken into consideration with proper behavioral guidelines to ensure a positive, long-lasting first impression. Often times meeting new business contacts entails luncheons or happy hours that bring together a diverse group of individuals. Understanding how best to conduct oneself in these situations will allow for more optimal outcomes to be attained. When attending these business events, here are just a few things to keep in mind:
Sit by People You Don’t Know
Networking events are the perfect opportunity to get out of your comfort zone. They also tend to have the best results when you decide to break these social barriers. When attending business conferences, make a point to sit next to people you have never met before. This allows you to take advantage of interacting with potential customers while learning more about the needs and interests of diverse people.
For example, picture working for an insurance agency, and you’re sitting at a table with complete strangers. In passing you overhear one of the individuals mention concerns regarding potential litigation issues they may be facing. This gives you the perfect chance to ease your way into the conversation, mention your field of work, and offer a free professional liability insurance quote that will help them avoid a potential lawsuit. Not only do you get your name out there, but you may have just picked up on a new client for your agency. All this because you made the decision to break out of your comfort zone and sit next to people you didn’t know.
Set Goals for Each Event
Planning your goals and objectives ahead of time is a surefire way to get the most out of any business even. Regardless of what they may entail, take a second to analyze your desired outcomes and set objectives to reach each one.
Goals for a networking event can include meeting new potential customers, connecting with industry influencers, or maybe even identifying investors. Determine what your primary objective is for each business meeting and set measurable goals for yourself. Assessing the expected outcome and establishing clear benchmarks will keep you headed in the right direction.
Be Careful with the Drinks
A great way to break the ice in any business interaction is sitting down to have a nice drink with your colleague. Remember, this is still a business meeting, so don’t drink more than you can handle and forget the purpose of why you’re networking in the first place.
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Carry Business Cards at all Times
We’ve all been there before. We arrive at a business meeting with dozens of industry leaders and prospective clients, only to find that we forgot to bring business cards. This is one of the most important factors of successful networking, and forgetting or having too few business cards doesn’t make a strong first impression.
Business meetings are one of the best places to exchange cards with attendees, so don’t be shy in dishing them out. When giving out business cards, make sure to ask the other party for their card too. This leaves nothing to chance and lets you contact them, even if they forget to reach out to you.
Follow Up with New Contacts
What’s the point of meeting new people and getting contact information if you don’t follow up with them shortly after the interaction? Take some time on the day after the event to sort through the contacts you received and reach out to those who expressed interest. One tip to effective outreach can be jotting down notes from the conversation on the back of business cards to help jog your memory on the following day.
How does the way you network compare with the list above? Never be afraid to modify the way you network, and remember: networking serves you and your business.