5 Tips For Networking Newbies
1) Be Prepared
Before you walk into the world of networking, it’s important to practice your “30 second pitch”. Your 30 second pitch should include:
– Your company name
– Your company location
– What your company does (services you provide)
– Special qualities that separate your company from the competition
Another great way to be prepared is to know who is at the event. When it’s possible, make sure to get a copy of the list of attendees. Look over the list and select a few people you know you want to meet while you’re at the event. Research the basics of the company as well as the person, so you can pick them out in a crowd. LinkedIn is a great place to start.
2) Smile and Say Hi
Be quick to greet people. The hardest part of networking for most people is getting the conversation started. Don’t be afraid to sit down at a table of people that you have never even met. In the world of networking, a simple smile and quick hello can go a long way.
3) Work In Pairs
It’s always a great idea to have a partner at a networking event. This person can be someone you work with, or a friend you have made at a previous networking event. Remember the goal is to introduce them to people who they haven’t met yet. They will likely return the favor to you.
4) Really Get to Know People
When networking you want to steer the conversation towards being more about them than it is about you. Your goal is to learn as much as you can about the person. To achieve this you will need to ask a mix of personal and business questions. Some great questions include:
– How did you get involved with “Insert Company Name”?
– What part of your job are you most passionate about?
– How would you describe your ideal client?
– Are you involved in any other networking groups?
– What geographic area does your company cover?
If you really are looking to break the ice with someone feel free to use this Mike Mangold signature – Batman or Superman? Everyone has a favorite Superhero and they are sure to tell you why.
5) Follow Up
After a networking event you will have met a lot of new people and picked up a few business cards along the way. The next step is to make another connection with the people who you enjoyed networking with. Your follow-up can be in the form of a phone call, email, or even a greeting card. The purpose of this follow-up is to let the person know you really enjoyed meeting them, and that you are interested in setting up a one-on-one meeting.
Hopefully these 5 tips will prove helpful and get you off to a good start at your next networking event. If you’re looking to practice you’re one on one networking skills, or just want to drink some coffee, drop Mangold Creative a line. We would love to help.