Tag Archives: Networking Event

Face-to-Face Networking

CONNECTING AT NETWORKING EVENTS

PREPARATIONS:

  • If possible, make one or two connections before the event and arrange to meet at the event.
  • Go to the event alone! Don’t hang out with friends or people you already know.
  • Set a goal before the event, for example, I will connect with six new people tonight. A goal should not be to see how many business cards you can collect.
  • Dress appropriately for the occasion.
  • Pick up a nametag. Put your career/job goal on your resume as well as your name.
  • Keep one hand free to allow yourself to shake hands with people without juggling drink, food, or other items.
  • Be prepared to offer help as well as receive. Be ready to tell others what you can do for them, and then follow up and do it.
  • Bring business cards and a pen in a pocket or easily accessible. You can create virtually free business cards from various internet sites. When you give someone your card, personalize it! for example, handwrite your cellphone number on it. write notes on the back of business cards you collect about the contact.

Making the Connection

  • Initiate a conversation with someone who is standing alone.
  • Have a few great conversation starters. Compliments work well! Have a one-liner to use when joining a group.
  • Don’t barge into a larger group. Ease in, make eye contact and gradually join the conversation.
  • When you introduce yourself, include what you do and why you are attending the event (what you are looking for). Be concise. Ask follow up questions about to information shared with you.
  • Be well-prepared to answer “What do you do?” with a concise, positive response. For example, respond that you are in transition and seeking a great new opportunity in the (your career) field.
  • During a conversation with a new contact, use the other person’s name two or three times. Ask them questions. Make good eye contact. Listen carefully to what they have to say.
  • Have a few good questions you could ask anyone in the room to jump-start a conversation that has gone dead.
  • Politely excuse yourself when leaving a conversation.
  • Know when to stop talking!

Follow Up

  • Send follow-up e-mails within 48 hours, preferably the day after the event.
  • Organize collected business cards. Add date and where you met the contact on each, along with notes about any special interests as an additional reason to keep in touch.

IMPROMPTU NETWORKING

You never know whom you’re going to run into on the bus, the train, at a party, or other unexpected setting. Suddenly you find yourself speaking to an expert in your desired career field, or the head of the most prestigious employer in industry.

How do you introduce yourself? What do you tell him/her about yourself? What kind of questions do you ask?

The best tactic is to be well-prepared in advance! Prepare and practice a short summary of who you are, what you would like to do in the future, and the type of help that you need to get you there:

I’ll be graduating from Loyola University Chicago this spring with my degree in English. I’d ultimately like to use my technical writing skills in trade magazines, particularly relating to the travel industry. I would really appreciate any advice you can give me. Would you consider setting up a short appointment for an informational interview to help me explore my career goals?


PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE & MEETINGS

Join a local professional association and volunteer to work at one of their conferences or meetings. Many associations have special student memberships.

VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES

Volunteer activities bring you in direct connection with people in your chosen career, particularly in the nonprofit industry.


Source: luc.edu

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Top 10 Networking Tips for Savvy Networkers


  • .  Be Prepared. Savvy Networkers always have their networking tools with them at all times.  The Networking tool kit includes: an ample supply of business cards, your name badge, any collateral material (flyers, brochures, etc), and your marketing message (often referred to as your elevator speech).

    .  Arrive early. Savvy Networkers arrive early and have their business cards readily available and can relax and focus on learning about the other people in the room.  As an early, Savvy Networker, you can pause to calmly gather your thoughts and your intentions so that your time spent networking will be of benefit to you and your goals.  Preparation goes a long way in making you appear to be someone that other people will want to get to know.  People do business with people they like.  And you will be judged by others, like it or not, based on their first impression of you.
  • .  Have a plan. Savvy Networkers always have an idea of what the goal is for each event they attend.  Know, before going in, what the outcome is that you want for yourself or for the people you meet at each event.  Do you want to meet 3 people and focus on getting to know them really well?  Are you looking for an introduction to a certain type of client?  Are you looking for information or connections that will get you that information?  When you have a plan, it is easier to stay focused and achieve your expected outcome.  It also helps you to keep on track to help others in achieving their goals when you remind yourself to be generous with your own knowledge and connections.  And, when you have a plan it is easier to stay on task as you meet with people.
  • Be a Giver and/or a Connector. When you focus on “giving” and being helpful to others, the “getting” will come later … and it will come in unexpected ways.  Foremost to remember, is that no one likes a person with a “taker” mentality.  When you are generous, people will notice and repsect you for your kind nature.  And, people generally do business with people that they respect, trust, and like.  Act like a host at every event you attend by connecting people.  This can be a simple act of intruducing 2 people to each other or as elaborate as giving a testimonial about 1 person and their services to the entire group.  All of these acts allow you to focus on the “other” and grows your social capital in the room.
  • Leave your troubles behind. Put on a happy face at the door and remind yourself that it is “show time”.  This is your time to sparkle and shine.  People will look forward to seeing you and meeting you if you are energetic, positive, and outgoing.  Again, people enjoy doing business with people that they like.  BE a person that others will like.  Hopefully you’ve heard the zen expression “Be the ball” … well, whenever you have the chance, “Be the ball of the ball!”  Do not burden or bore people with your troubles or your problems.  Everyone has enough of their own, and, trust me on this, they do not need or want to hear about yours.
  • Listen with focus. When someone is speaking with you, give that person your entire focus.  LISTEN.  Really hear what the person is saying.  Keep your eyes and ears focused and keep your self talk and thoughts focused too.  The greatest gift that you can give to another person is to truly hear what that person is saying.  You’ve seen this before and it bears repeating: you have 1 mouth and 2 ears for a reason.  Listen twice as much and talk 1/2 as much and everyone you treat this way will think you are a genius!
  • Be Genuine. Everyone knows when someone is “schmoozing” on or at them.  And, no one likes being “primed” for the pump.  Be genuine in your interactions with others at an event.  Again, it comes back to building trust,  to building “brand YOU”.  There is a huge difference between being INTERESTED and in trying to be INTERESTING.   When you are interested in learning about someone and their business entirely for the sake of learning about the other person, you will leave a lasting impression as someone who genuinely cares.  On the other hand, when you are interested only so that you can take what you learn and then use it to make yourself or your products interesting to this person … well, my friend, you have slipped into the category of “scorched earth networking” and it is not a good place to be.
  • Do Teach/Don’t Sell. The Savvy Networker knows that the immediate sale of a product is not the goal in networking.  Networking is about building relationships with people who will be happy to tell others about who you are and what you do.  Word of mouth advertising is the most cost effective and powerful advertising.   At every opportunity, teach others about who you are, as a person, and what it is that you do.  Always present a clear emphasis on the type of client that you are looking for.  In doing this, you will be building a salesforce that can reach far wider than you can on your own.
  • Follow up. After the event, send a thank you card to each person that you had direct contact with.  Mention something from your discussion in the thank you card (it helps if you jot notes on the back of each person’s business card that you collect).  If there is a referral that you can supply to someone you’ve just met, include that in the follow up note.  Showing up and following up are the two most important parts of networking.  Showing up, in most cases, is the easy part.  The follow up is, sadly, the most neglected part of networking.  Since so many people fail to follow up, you can really stand out by just doing this simple act of reaching out to remind someone of who you are and what you do … and that you are interested in exploring a relationship.
  • Follow up some more! Depending on where you look, marketing statistics state that it takes 7 to 12 impressions for a consumer to make a buying decision.  It also take somewhere between 5 to 12 impressions to become “top of mind”.  AND those are the OLD numbers.  Because of the overload of information that we are all faced with every day, the number of impressions is actually quite higher.  It is more likely to take 15 – 20 impressions before you make the connections that you are looking to build! Meeting face to face is the 1st impression.  An email, a phone call, another card, a lunch date … don’t stop after 1 or 2 impressions.  Keep going.  Savvy Networkers know that to build strong relationships they must dig deeper and make the continued effort to build ongoing relationships!

Source: Top10networkingtips.com

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