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Networking, the blind date of the business world, arguably one of the most important but daunting ways to make those all-important business connections.
There are so many things to consider when attending a networking event; what questions to ask, what questions am I going to be asked, what is the line between introducing your business and the conversation becoming too much of a sales pitch.
While all these factors are important one to consider, the key is to relax, no one knows your business better than you do therefore no one knows how to talk about it better.
It may sound silly, since the aim of networking event is to build connections that may lead to business opportunities, but don’t get too caught up on it. Let conversation flow naturally whether it’s about business or not. Get to know the person before you think of the potential opportunities that person can give.
As previously mentioned, no one knows your business better than you. It’s your passion, you spend your working hours doing your best to make your business a success. Use this opportunity to win people over with the enthusiasm you have for your product or service. Enthusiasm is contagious, and it will spur on others to share their passions as well. Then you have a memorable conversation and a basis for future opportunities.
Remember to keep it light and informal – you’re not trying to sell anyone your product/service – you’re building relationships. Keep the conversation just that…a conversation.
Even if you’re more of an introvert you can still be great at networking! Statistically speaking most people love to talk about themselves and the things they’re passionate about, so why not let them do that.
If you are a naturally observant person odds are you’re also a great listener and a critical part of networking is showing sincere interest in the other part. It will become much easier to talk about yourself when you’re more familiar with the person and what they do.
Like anything, the more you do it the better you’ll get at it. The same applies here, the more networking events you attend, the better you will get at handling them. You will eventually become more relaxed and comfortable within your environment leading to better conversations and better connections.
Networking can be daunting but as long as you’re calm, well-prepared and friendly there’s nothing to worry about, you never know who you’re going to meet and whether you will be connected to them for years to come so keep an open mind – opportunities present themselves in a number of different ways.