Many events, whether an awards ceremony, training workshop or business breakfast, are designed to provide a networking component. As an attendee, it is important to use this time effectively, so you can establish new connections, and potential opportunities.
Networking can be an effective tool, and here’s our advice on some of the techniques we utilise:
- Identify how you can offer mutual value to the people you meet. Networking is about meeting people who share common business interests, explore how you can provide mutual value, rather than just a supplier/client transaction.
- Convey your products and services in a succinct manner. Clearly articulate the value you provide, so there is no ambiguity and confusion. You will meet many individuals over a networking session and it is important that your business can be remembered by participants.
- Meet as many people as you can. Networking is only effective if you can meet people and introduce yourself. Don’t constrain to just people that you know, the purpose of networking is to make new connections.
- Bring plenty of business cards! It is amazing how many people forget to take business cards. Make sure you offer your business cards to provide contact details for a follow up discussion.
- Don’t be afraid to follow up! If you have someone’s business card and you believe that you can provide mutual benefit, then follow up the discussion with an email or telephone conversation. Take initiative, because if you wait for someone to make contact, you may be missing an opportunity.
- Provide a tailored response when you follow up, or when you meet someone at a networking event. People can see through generic responses. Demonstrate how you can deliver value.
- Practice makes perfect. It takes time to become comfortable at networking. Set yourself a goal, such as how many people you want to meet and then continue to push yourself to achieve these results.
We’re strong believers in networking and sharing mutual aims, we’ll be attending the VECCI Fast Forward Business Networking session on the 31st of October.
I hope that you take advantage of networking opportunities at the next event you attend.