Aug 21 2012

Want to make the most out of networking? Act drunk!

Want to make the most out of networking? Act drunk!

 

A bold statement, but one that really caught my eye and that actually makes a lot of sense.

 

At a recent event I got to meet some nice people. We talked about our personal and business lives and other nice things. But the main positive I drew from it was that it wasn’t a high-pressure sales and networking environment….

 

That was until someone marched over to me at the end of the event and thrust their business card into my hand. Their reason? They didn’t manage to speak to me but wanted to ‘connect’.

 

I reluctantly gave my business card in return and sure enough I received a heartless sales pitch within an email later that week.

 

This got me thinking about what I believe to be good and bad practices within networking etiquette.

 

Referring back to the initial statement, the benefit of “acting drunk” could allow you network more successfully. It maybe suggests that you could drop your guard; throw out any sales agenda you may have and relax.

 

I firmly believe that doing these things will allow you to not only network better, but also actually make you a more interesting person to connect with.

 

Here are my top networking tips:

 

Identify yourself

 

Many networking events do offer name badges as standard but what if they don’t? It might be worth investing in your own. Not only will you always have one, but it will also help to promote your brand image.

 

Listen!

 

People love to talk about themselve, so what better way to get someone onside than by allowing them to do just that. Don’t worry if they seem like they are going on until the sun goes down, this is all part and parcel of being a good listener!

 

If you try and just impose your own messages and relentless sales patter, you won’t get very far. Listen and even if you’re not, fain interest! This will allow you to get your own message across later on.

 

Step out of your comfort zone

 

Don’t just hang around the people you’ve met before – if you wanted to do that you may as well just ask them out for a beer one night! Make an effort to mingle – it’s what you’re there for and you’ll see far more return on your time by doing so.

 

Follow up

 

What’s the point of meeting all these nice people if you never interact with them again? There’s no need to bombard them with info about your business or services, just a casual catch-up to see if they’re working on or planning anything interesting.

 

Don’t leave early

 

If you have a prior engagement and it can’t be helped then at least make sure you’ve spoken to as many people as you can. Leaving early just makes it look like you didn’t want to be there in the first place.

 

Set the time aside to do networking properly and reap the rewards!

 

Do you have any tips or networking faux pas that I haven’t mentioned? I’d love to hear your views!

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Elly Cattermole

Our marketing and creative demon - Elly is here to keep you updated on any new developments in the industry. Her keen eye for social media updates (they happen more than you think!) and new ideas to market your business means she’s in the know for all things social.

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