I love to network, it’s sort of my thing.
I enjoy going to places to connect with people in real life. Especially when it’s at events that I already enjoy attending (like personal growth workshops, dancing/Zumba, etc)
At these events, they are a ton of fun BUT I have definitely met some people that I wish I could offer some of these tips too. So I thought I would share them with you so you can make more connections and now how to be polite in these situations that can sometimes be SUPER awkward.
I have far too many people who stumble or mumble when they introduce themselves. I know it’s awkward to meet someone new and you don’t have to be super confident but you do need to practice clearly saying your name and briefly stating what you do when someone asks
Briefly state what you do.
When someone asks you about your business, don’t go into a LONG HISTORY of your business, your “why”, and what you offer or what sales you have this month. The person doesn’t “care” about you or your business “yet”. Get to know them first and ask them about THEIR business before you start focusing on “you”.
What do they do? How do they help people? What made them start their business? Notice a pattern? Place the focus on the other person, not yourself. The more you focus on the other person, the more the person will be at ease and will be grateful that you actually care about THEM and not about just giving your card to them
Don’t just pass out your cards without the person expressing they want it.
This is a fast way to waste your own money. I’ve had people walk up to me at networking events and not even really say “hi” to me but they give me their card and then walk away. #WasteofTime More than likely, I won’t keep the card. That’s not because I don’t like the person, but it’s simply because i have no personal connection to the card. I may not even remember what the person looks like. So when i get home and it’s time to clean out my purse, I’ll probably throw it away. Many people do that and it sucks because you’re spending real money on making these cards. So avoid the paper waste and give your cards to people you actually talk to at the event and/or wait till they ASK for your card. You’ll save a lot of money that way.
Don’t focus on your business.
This one is REALLY hard. When we go to events, our goal is to find customers. We want to help people and we want to find people who need our help. However, if your main intent is to “close a sale” or “get a new customer”, you’ll come off as desperate and repel people away from you. This is why you have to ask questions and talk to people about THEIR business more so than yours. It will help you to not “word vomit” all over people and push them away
I’m sure that I can come up with a few more, but I don’t want to overwhelm you.
The main key here is:
Be friendly and ask questions about OTHER people.
Go in with the intention to HELP other people and you’ll find that people will naturally ask you a LOT of questions and want to invite you to lunch or know more about your business.