Who's ready to take their network to the next level? Let’s do this. Read on to discover my top ten networking tips.
Bring business cards. Investing in a business card case can be a big help. Keep it in your purse or jacket pocket, and you’ll ready to make connections no matter where you are.
Don’t come in with a sales pitch. Remember the goal of this networking event is to make connections, not sell a product. It doesn’t hurt to have your elevator pitch ready, but if you’re too rehearsed, it can come off like a sales pitch.
Arrive early. It can be tempting to want to arrive late, but resist the urge. Arriving early allows you to get a feel for the room, plus it will be easier to find someone to talk to.
Listen. Restating a person’s name can leave a great impression. Bring a notepad and a pen, you may need to take a moment to write down notes about the people you meet.
Ask open-ended questions. Stay away from questions that can be answered with a “yes” or “no” response. Prepare some thoughtful questions beforehand that begin with “what,” “who,” “where” or “how.”
Beware of the bar. Let’s be real; alcohol can help calm nerves and increase confidence. So feel free to drink during the event, but know your limits. No one wants to work with the person who made a fool of themselves because they drank too much at an event.
Be passionate. As important as it is to listen to others, don’t forget to show your passion for the company you work for and your community. Your enthusiasm will shine through in conversations and people will remember you.
Make eye contact. This may seem like a no-brainer, but strong eye contact shows AND earns respect. Unless the conversation warrants it, leave your phone in your purse and stay engaged.
Dress to impress. Leave those leggings at home, ladies! Your best bet is to dress in business casual attire. Depending on the type of event, dark wash jeans are also acceptable, as long as you pair them with a nice dress shirt or jacket.
Connect with connections. Whether you add them on LinkedIn, follow them on Twitter or send them an email, be sure to follow up. We don’t want ANY of your hard work going to waste.
Remember these 10 tips and you’ll be ready to rock your next networking event! Feel free to share your best networking tips in the comments.