Tips for effective networking

How are you finding being back networking face-to-face? I am loving it… albeit that I have to keep reminding myself that I can stop talking and pause for breath occasionally! – but it is just so nice being at the Victoria Hall and seeing everyone again.

Last month I wrote about how networking can help your business so I thought it might be helpful if I shared some tips on how to get to make the most of your time at Coffee and Connect, as I guess some of you, like me, will be feeling a little bit out of practice!

1. The best networkers focus on how they can make connections for other people rather than just thinking about how they can get business for themselves.

2. Successful networking is about meeting new people AND building stronger relationships with people you already know so do both in equal measure.

3. When you are chatting in the open networking sessions share your knowledge and expertise generously – you want to be the person who immediately comes to mind when someone asks “Do you know anyone who…?”

4. Keep your one-minute introduction simple, easy to remember and consistent. So, after your name and business name give a brief overview of what you do. Then focus on one particular aspect of your work (changing this each month) – perhaps sharing a piece of advice or knowledge that demonstrates you are an expert in this area.

5. It is not what you say but how you say it that counts most in your introduction – enthusiasm and positivity really are infectious.

6. Remember to SMILE and have fun!

7. But also remember you are in a business environment so be professional too.

8. Follow through on any actions you have promised e.g., sending information or contact details and if you are the recipient of such information, please remember to say thank you.

9. Please do not just pick up everyone’s business card and send e-mails out to us all, successful networking is built on trust and getting to know people.

10. Most importantly, you need to attend regularly; people need to get to know you and trust you… and that takes time.