Having recently held our own Breakfast Networking Event (our fab Chairman Peter featured above – second from left!) I’ve had networking on the brain for a while, so… here’s our quick top 5 tips on how to make the most of your next attendance:
Set personal goals. If you know what you’re going there to do then you’re more likely to get it done. So, did you really want to find a new business you can work with? Or to meet a set number of new contacts? Set a few and see how you get on.
Hand your business cards out. Even if your industries are total opposites, if you’ve taken the time to chat with someone, give them a card. You never know, they might change industries eventually, or they may know someone else that needs your services and pass the card along.
Don’t forget about the ones that you receive either; if you are interested in working with someone you met at an event, then contact them within a couple of days or you run the risk of waiting too long and them not remembering who you are… awkward!
Be sure to ask questions. If you ask the right questions then this will help you plan a more effective follow-up. Don’t ask yes/no questions, instead, ask interesting and open-ended ones so that you are inviting them to speak in depth.
(If, like me, you don’t have a good memory then grab a pen and scribble some notes or reminders on the back of your new contacts’ business card after you’ve finished talking to them!)
Get fully involved. Meet and greet the organiser of the event in person, or in the very least, Connect on LinkedIn / Follow and Mention on Twitter to say thanks. Keeping adrift of top organisers means you might get invites to more events.
And keep going. Find other relevant networking events and attend, hone your skills, continue to expand your contacts and get your name out there!!