Here’s my business networking advice….
- DEVELOP YOUR LISTENING SKILLS
We have 2 ears and one, mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak!!” Ask yourself do you speak about yourself far more than you listen and ask questions?
- LOOK AT NETWORKING AS A LONG GAME
Develop relationships, be consistent and attend on a regular basis. Rome wasn’t built in a day! For example, it’s take two years for some clients to get to know me and trust me before asking to trial the products. So like, know, trust.
- BE YOURSELF, AUTHENTIC, GENUINE.
Oscar Wilde said ‘Be yourself – everyone else is already taken!’ However, when you arrive at an event, however challenging your day has been, do not arrive and moan, be negative, be a whinger – people will avoid you!
- WATCH YOUR BODY LANGUAGE!
Arrive wearing appropriate clothes and a smile! Instant impressions take three seconds! Have eye contact with people and look clean and smart. Avoid crossed arms and standing on one foot!
- BE PREPARED!
When you’re asked ‘what is it you do? ‘have your elevator pitch practiced and ready – your 60 sec story.
- BUSINESS CARDS
If you exchange cards, ask permission to make notes on the back. Key points like their partner’s name, family, dogs, where they live, hobbies etc. It gives you a lead in when you ………
- FOLLOW UP FOR A 121!
Networking leads to connections not business. Always follow up after the event and if appropriate ask for a 121 over coffee to explore how you could potentially help each other. It could be for referrals. The timing may not be right straight away but the fortune is in the follow up.
- SERVE RATHER THAN SELL
Develop an attitude of serving. Look at ways of helping people or sharing contacts rather than selling your products/services. If you help others they’ll be more likely to help you. Be sincere in your giving nature without expecting something in return.
Take one or two of these tips away, implement and make it a habit and watch what happens!