How to be the Greatest Networker!
Do you turn up at a Networking Event armed with a Clipboard ready to get lots of leads? Are you that person handing out your business card before anyone asks for one? Do you follow up with an email pretending you met a person at an event when really you were never there? Are you a talker without listening? Are you consistently scanning the room whilst in a conversation? Are you a taker?
If you want to avoid being that person………..here’s how:
Turn up to a Networking Event with an idea of who you would like to connect with.
It’s good to have a focus to your networking, it stops you chatting to the same old faces and allows you to build your connections organically rather and a “pushy” “forced” lead generation exercise. The gdb Team are always willing to help you make those connections, always ask us if a particular member has arrived or if you didn’t get a chance to speak with them email us and we will be happy to pass it on.
Strike up a conversation.
No one wants a business card thrusted into their hand without speaking to that person first and then witness that same said person doing it to everyone else in the room. A good networker spends time finding out about the person they are chatting too, identifying some common ground to build a relationship before “striking” up the conversation of “let’s do business” together.
It’s great to connect.
There’s nothing wrong in connecting with event attendees before you attend event, LinkedIn is great for that. But always remember to add an invitation note like; “Hello I am attending the XXXXX network event, and it would be good to connect. I am the XXXXXX for XXXXXXXX” and perhaps add your email address. It’s also fantastic after you met someone to follow up, after all they have given you their details, so they want to connect! Never ever pretend you have previously met someone just to get a foot in! That never builds trust, also you have got their information without their permission.
Listen! and ask Questions?
The best way to grab attention is to ask the questions, listen intently and reply with genuine responses. That’s all you need to do….no one likes the “Me” show! The best networkers are those who attend events with the attitude of “who can I help today”.
There is nothing worse that talking to someone and they are looking around to see who else they can chat to! It means they don’t value what you are saying. How would you feel to be on the receiving end of “looking for something better”? When you do have to leave a conversation, be polite and leave at an appropriate point, never cut someone off!
We all love the feeling of leaving a networking event having made good connections or having real fruitful conversations. But before you ask something from someone or ask yourself first; “what can I offer them” – ask the simple question, “is there any way I can help you today”. It’s about interactions rather than transactions. The gdb hashtag #communityofbusiness isn’t by chance. The dictionary defines “community” as the people living in one particular area or people who are considered as a unit because of their common interests, social group, or nationality. And that sums gdb up!
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