Whether you’re launching a startup or looking for new opportunities, networking events are an essential part of the game. Some lucky individuals dive right into these events and come out with five great leads and a new hiking buddy. But for others, these orchestrated events can be a total drag, full of awkward moments and monotonous small talk.
Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or new to the networking scene, here are seven ways to make the most of these events.
1. Remind Yourself: You’re There to Give, Not Get
Our slogan at Find New Customers is “Always Be Helping.” Your mindset needs to be “How can I help you?” Give, don’t take.
2. Don’t Appear Desperate
No one likes a needy person – no matter if you need a date or a job. Act successful all the time, even if you are not.
3. Have Sincere Conversations
One of the fastest ways to turn someone off is to use language that is unfamiliar. So ditch the tech-speak and use simple terms.
4. Ask Open-Ended Questions
5. Limit Your Drinking
Open bar is nice, but you need to keep your wits about you. So limit yourself to a couple of drinks and stop. As she says “you want to portray yourself as someone others want to work with, not drink with.”
6. Connect With Everyone (and Never Look Over Anyone’s Shoulder)
One of the things I advise is to think of the next person you meet as the most important person in the world. I know, some are boring, but give them your rapt attention and don’t let your eyes wander. Focus!
She says that networking is like any other skill. It can be learned. So get out there and do it. Keep improving.