In today’s competitive business world, every entrepreneur should make the most of networking, because it is a winning card for both personal branding and company’s image. Mastering the art of networking is a great piece of advice for anyone in the business out there who needs to network like a pro, get new connections and become more visible in the business area. Networking is actually a synonym for connecting with other people, entrepreneurs and share new ideas, as well as promoting your company’s services. Whether you participate at conferences, business parties or cocktails, it is important to keep in mind several business tips to network like a pro and offer you lots of new contacts and potential prospects.
Needless to say that having the right connections is really helpful for you, because you can create and discover great business opportunities for your big or small business. How do you network and engage with others will most certainly have an impact for your future relationships, so why not making it in a very professional and efficient way?
1. Be yourself
Anyone else is taken to continue a very popular quote. Indeed, it is quite essential to be yourself and act naturally at any event you participate. Whether you are more serious, goofy or childish, people will remember you for being authentic and natural. Another good thing is to be curious and interested about others’ business profile or professional lifestyle. As long as you’ll help them achieving what they want, you are more likely to form lasting relationships and expand your network contacts. Who knows how you can benefit from these relationships?
2. Carry your business cards
Always remember to carry your business cards, while going on a business event, and share them with other people who are there. It is recommended to keep them in the nearest place, a closer pocket, so you can quickly take them and give one, after you are shacking hands. Business cards received from new contacts can be kept in another pocket, so you don’t confuse them. However, remember that it’s unprofessional to look out through all your cards to find one of yourself.
3. Always have an impeccable look
No matter what event you are attending, always remember to look your best and dress professional. Although, it’s not recommended to judge a person by appearances, a coat, a dress or even a professional business suit will make a difference rather than a simple jeans plus a t-short. Sometimes appearances count and allow others to make a first impression about yourself.
4. Create a professional blog
For many reasons, a professional blog is more important than your business cards, because it represents your online image and says far more about you. Moreover, the blog can validate more than ever, if a person is an expert or not, as well as discovering more about yourself and your products. A professional blog can offer you excellent opportunities to meet extraordinary people and interact with entrepreneurs and investors in your business area.
5. Introduce yourself
Say your first name and the company’s name, after that, and ask the other person his/her name. Always have a strong shake hands, make an eye contact and try to wear the name tag offered at the event in a visible spot, so your eyes are automatically drawn there. Remember to smile when you meet another business person and have a positive attitude, because people will surely recognize you.
6. Pick up your targets
Another idea to succeed networking like a pro is to approach those people you are mostly interested to talk to you, know your business and services and create a business opportunity. Keep in mind that it is also important how you choose to handle this situation and target someone in particularly.
7. Remember to have a question ready
After you’ve been introduced yourself, it is good to have a question ready or ask something about the company represented by that person or his function or anything else related with the business; a new information you’ve heard recently or anything else that can start an introduction. Always remember! If you show interest in them, they will surely show interest in you.
8. Follow up
Don’t forget to follow up after you’ve meet someone at an important event. There’s a lot of interactions and people may not always remember you after you’ve met the first time. Thus, it is very useful to look for natural ways to follow up and tell that person the circumstances you’ve met. He/she may remember you and, probably, start a new business or partnership together.
9. Show your sincere interest
But without overdoing it and look to be unnatural. As long as you’ll show your honest interest in your new contact, people will start to talk about themselves, their company or achievements. Be a good listener, even if you talk less, because you’ll surely be reminded as a great conversationalist. This can be a golden rule, but people often like to talk about themselves, so show interest in what they do and even ask a few questions.
10. Identify professionals with the same mindset
Instead of networking with anybody and everybody at the event, it is better to identify entrepreneurs and professionals like you, with the same mindset, who seem to think alike. While it’s difficult to read people from the first time, you may look for those from the same age group or same industry. Of course, you don’t have to limit yourself within your industry profile, but expand your connections with others that can be full of opportunities.
Have you used one of these tips or guidelines to network like a pro during an important event? Or do you know others that can help entrepreneurs or business persons to become more professional? We would like to hear your thoughts in a comment.