Meeting new people – it’s what networking is all about

I have been actively going to networking meetings for four years now and it was lovely attending the Farnham Ladies Who Latte group last week and realising that I knew 75% of everyone there.

However I have also been trying some other groups and went to one recently where I didn’t know anyone – so that really took me back, especially as it was also a group where there were no introductions so it was up to me to circulate and talk to people.

Both situations are equally important if you are working to develop your business. Yes it is great to walk into a room and catch up with friends and people whose services you have used over the years and vice versa BUT there is no limit to the number of great contacts you can make, so tempting though it is just to talk to people you know you also need to talk to people you have never met before.

One thing I have learnt over the years is that you don’t have to be nervous about this:

Everyone goes to networking meetings to meet people – that is why you are there. You do not need to have a creative or witty introduction. I tend to use a variation along the lines of

“Hi my name is Mel

….I thought I would come and say hello as I don’t think we’ve met before.
…can I come and join you as I don’t know anyone?
…I’ve not been to this meeting before, are you a regular?”

As you can see nothing very inspirational but said with a smile on my face it worked very nicely for me at the meeting I attended where I didn’t know anyone.

What worked even better was that after I had introduced myself to some people and four of us had chatted for a while, we all thought we should go and say hello to some of the others so we split into two groups and started the whole thing off again.

…and maybe in a few years some of the people I met for the first time this month will be familiar faces that I know well.

So why not ensure that at this month’s Coffee and Connect you chat to someone you haven’t spoken to before.

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