You arrive at networking event, your main aim is to talk to like-minded people about their business and your business - in that order.
I’m new to networking events, some have been great and some have been bad but from every event I have walked away with something - a business contact or an information pack, a goody bag, a lollipop or just simply a great experience of networking. Every event I have been to I have walked away with one thing NOT to do. The same thing NOT to do has presented itself every time!
You arrive at a networking event; a person makes a beeline direct for you. Before you get chance to say "hi", you have a business card stuffed in your hand and someone barking at you. Rule number 1: you must learn to listen. We know we don’t shout about how good we are often enough but listen first, then you won’t have to shout as you will have your audience. I prefer to have a chat to someone and then decide whether this person needs a business card. It may be that this is your biggest competitor so why on earth do they want your card?
My latest networking event ended with me having a great day and heading out in the lift, thinking that I hadn’t had that person pounce on me today! My luck was out. The lift doors closed, I only had one floor to go and in this time I had a business card stuffed in my hand - I knew the name of his company, where his office was and what he supplied just as the doors were opening on the ground floor. He walked away and I said nice to meet you too!
Emma Williams – justbooked.co.uk
On social networks, it’s tempting to try and grow your network rapidly by accepting any friend requests that come your way and building a network of strangers. As Louis Gray explains, when thinking about business networking; revenue is only going to come from a small selection of your online community. For that reason, building a network of highly engaged people with whom you have a genuine connection can prove to be a great way to unlock business opportunities.
It’s easy to judge someone’s social media “usefulness” on their number of friends or followers, or assume that low numbers equates to a small and relatively useless network. But it might be sensible to start slowly and focus on quality. What do you think?