Attending a Networking Event isn’t a soiree or another one of those hand-shaking “hello there, pleasure to meet you” parties; it’s neither just an event for swapping calling cards and resumes but it’s that perfect place on how you establish rapport and build a relationship that can lead to opportunities.
Signing up and being on site is only but the beginning of the networking process. Effective networking takes time and builds lasting relationships where both parties can help one another. You can’t just sit around holding a glass of
whine wine and wait things to happen. You have to congenially get out there.
If you’re an entrepreneur who’s earnestly passionate on your craft, expanding your network is one of those crucial events you’d have to attend to but being present on such get-together need not to require you to come out too strong wherein you’d be pitching in to every stranger that you meet.
How do you break the ice?
- Approach people with a smile on your face and not cringe. Remember you’re onto meeting new people and not scouting for prospects as victims.
- Think of the networking event as a chance to get to know others and as a place where you can seek advice from someone who may come with a different point of view.
- Ask about what they do, their background and let them tell you what they do even if you’ve got a brief idea on how they describe themselves. Show sincere interest on their opinion or advice, you’ll be surprised the conversation will naturally direct itself towards your aim or your quest to know about.
- gradually introduce yourself and let them know who you are but again, don’t come out too strong. let them paint a photo from how you derive your conversation; eventually you’ll be surprised on the manner on how both of you would be able to help or connect you to people who can help each other’s goals and industries.
- Once you’ve found a common ground to your conversation, talk about something important or a little closer to the personal – this way you get to know their character or what their perspective are.
- If you feel awkward – go ahead and introduce yourself to someone beside you and have everyone introduced to one another , this way you get to create a small circle of friends which will loosen up all the tension of “getting to know you’s”
Quoting Don Goodman, president of About Jobs a recognized career expert. “Keep all questions open-ended and leave comments that allow others to probe”. A question or comment that leaves one to simply have room to say “yes” or “no” will not help build a conversation.
Always remember the indication of your networking success relies on the positive impression you marked to those people you met during the networking event. ” You want people to feel your positive energy and to see you are willing to help others, as well as have a special area of expertise they will potentially want your advice and counsel on in the future.” This will help ensure the relationship and conversation you have continues to grow after you leave the event.
Trust me, I’ve made friends with these women and they’ve been selfless and helpful. You can always run to them in terms of advices, views and opinions.
Network for Enterprising Women
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