9 Ways To Network Like A Pro

September 9, 2014

networking event

Networking events can seem awkward and unnatural, but they are a necessary way for business people to make new contacts in their own communities. It’s best to learn good networking skills so you can stand out in a crowd opposed to wasting your time standing in the corner. Make the most of the event and your time, so make an effort to meet everyone. Before you go, we have a few useful hints that could make or break your next networking event.

Here are some tips that our staff uses to excel at networking events:

1. Set a goal for the event and remember it. Everyone is there for the same reason. Give yourself an incentive to talk to everyone. Maybe you want to meet someone in a specific industry or company- make your way around to everyone and see how many people can help you reach your goal.

2. Break the ice right away. Go introduce yourself to the event organizer, the host of the party or companies associated with the event. Make sure everyone gets familiar with your name and face. It’s even alright to take selfies with key people at the event.

3. Help them remember you. Stand out from the sea of black pant suits. Wear a unique scuba diving tie or vintage choker necklace. This will give others a way to remember you visually and also learn a little something about your tastes and personality.

business cards

4. Give everyone a business card. Hand it to them as you ask for their card. How can you keep in touch with new contacts if you don’t hand out your business cards? Follow up with a friendly email the next morning.

5. Know that you are always representing your brand. Your personal brand is very important to maintain. Be aware of how you dress, how much you drink, what topics you discuss, and the referrals that you give. Always keep it professional.

6. Ask a question and listen for the answer. Let them talk first and most people will ask you questions in return. Listening is key. Don’t worry if you don’t get a chance to say everything that pops into your mind, there are plenty more people to talk to. Just save your thought for the appropriate time.

7. Be patient and polite. In social settings, manners go a long way. Even in the business world, people want to hear you say please and thank you. Have lots of enthusiasm and smile.

8. Follow up quickly. Send an email and add your new contacts on social media and LinkedIn within two days.

9. Arrive early and stay late. If you arrive early, you can meet people as they enter the event without having to always break the ice. Staying late is beneficial because people are more likely to have their guard down as the event comes to an end.

Not all networking events are created equal. You may find that some events are better suited to your industry than others. It’s wise to make your rounds and meet everyone at the event. You never know when you will meet the perfect business partner, marketing team or investor. Make the most of your time at networking events and we believe you will continue to grow your reach and find more business opportunities.

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