I know it’s the holiday season, but in between sipping bubbles, give yourself the gift of ambition by networking with someone who may be able to help you get to the top of the job ladder. In today’s incredibly competitive working world it’s important to master as many business skills as possible and knowing how to effectively network can potentially secure you future business opportunities. Still many people would rather play wall flower than mix with a room full of unknown faces! So here are my top tips on how to get the hook-up:
- Choose the right events to attend. You’re not going to chit-chat you’re going to make business connections. So don’t go to mingle at an Art opening if you should be at a lawyers gathering.
- Do your prep work. Try to get a list of whose going; identify who you’d like to meet, who can advance your career and get researching. When you arrive, find your targets and use your confidence to approach them.
- This is the hard one; look for physical clues that people are willing to be approached. Find a group or pair that is not in a closed conversation. Suss out who the leader is and ask to join in the conversation. If you can’t bare this idea, then ask the event organiser to introduce you to the person you’re keen on meeting. This is more direct and my preferred method.
- It’s not all about you. No one wants to do business with someone who talks incessantly about themselves. Be an active listener, interesting and articulate. Be discriminating about who you give your business card.
- It’s not what you do; it’s what you can do. Don’t talk about what you do, talk about what you can do for your target. It’s far more appealing to your prospective business connection.
- When you get your moment, know what you want to say. Have three or four key points you want to stress about your business acumen. Keep it short, smart and sweet.
- Don’t forget to follow through. Nothing is more annoying than the person who says they’re going to send something and it doesn’t materialise. If you say you’re going to do it, then do it. Don’t be the one who flakes. You never know when your networking will pay off!
I’m not saying this is easy, I’m saying it’s worth it!