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When networking is fun, fear disappears and confidence appears

15 Mar When networking is fun, fear disappears and confidence appears

Click, watch and share our video of a recent fun networking event.

For many people, the thought of going to a networking event can be a daunting and nervous experience. The sheer thought of standing around in a room full of strangers, feeling awkward and making small talk, is a nightmare. However, if you want to build your contact base, increase you connections or grow your existing network then you know networking is something you need to do.

Love it or hate it, networking is a huge part of growing a business. You need to meet and greet new people, expand your contacts, and be actively prepared to go and chase business.

At Wonderful Communications we believe that if you make networking fun, fear disappears and confidence appears. That’s why we encourage a different style of networking event, one that is fun, enjoyable, useful and informative at the same time. No matter what your business level is our simple aim is to make everyone who attends our networking events relaxed, comfortable and ready to tell their own story to an audience who are ready and willing to listen.

For those who find networking a challenge, or perhaps simply want to improve at networking, below are some tips that have helped us not only get better at it but also enjoy it too.

Do your research

Research the types of companies and people who will be going to the networking event and make sure they are the type of people and companies that could be prospective clients for you. Network with intent.

Don’t get there too early

Nobody wants to help the organiser to put out the chairs, so don’t arrive too early or before the start time of the event. When there are only a few people standing around, it can be a little awkward, and the conversation is always distracted as new people arrive. Fashionably late works a treat!

Never judge a book by its cover

Always keep an open mind when it comes to meeting new people as you never know where that conversation, business card or potential door could lead too. Don’t fall into the trap of assuming anything about anyone simply on the basis of his or her look.

You are not watching paint dry, so remember to smile

Many people often forget to smile when they are attending networking events. Remember, if you smile you become more approachable, nobody wants to approach that person with a scowl or frown upon their face. Remember to smile often and smile sincerely.

Read up on the latest news before you go to the event

It’s always good to read up on the latest news, current affairs, sports, entertainment, fashion, music or whatever topic you favour is current at the time. This will help you bring your topics into a conversation. Asking people their opinion is a great way to get the conversation flowing.

Don’t just hang out with people you know

We always suggest that when networking you find someone new to talk to at an event as hanging on to friends and contacts you know already for the entire event isn’t really networking and is the safe option. Move around the room, introduce yourself, and meet new people. We understand it is a little challenging, but the more you do it the easier it becomes.

Too much drinking and eating at an event does not make networking easier

Unfortunately there will also be those people that attend networking events for the complimentary food and drinks on offer and have no intention to network but feed their insatiable appetites. First and foremost, this is not a good look and drinking moderately is accepted at networking events but hovering by the bar, having two glasses of wine in both hands whilst watching over your stack of canapes by your side isn’t setting the right tone. Drinking and eating at an event should be done in moderation.

Take plenty of business cards to an event

We always suggest that you take as many business cards as you can muster to a networking event. Often many people forget to take any business cards at all to networking events which has people scrapping around for a paper and pen to write down contact details. As a rule try to keep some business cards on you at all times, as you never know when that business card will come in handy.

Wear something smart but casual

This helps people remember you and it makes you stand out from the crowd. Make sure you’re comfortable in what you wear too.

We all need a helping hand sometimes to be introduced to others

If you want to meet someone in particular, find a friend who knows the person and ask your friend to do a personal introduction. This always works well and you can’t get better than a personal and friendly introduction.

Offer a compliment and be sincere when you do it

We all like someone to say something nice to us but make it genuine. It might be something someone is wearing, something you may have heard about the person, their business, or even their industry. Remember to say it with a smile!

Focus on the person in front of you

A big turn-off is a conversation in which the person you are talking to keeps looking at everyone else (or their phone) totally distracted from what you are saying. Don’t be that person. If the person in front of you is not your target market, politely excuse yourself. There is no need to waste any time on someone who clearly isn’t interested in what you have to say. Move along quickly.

Go with a specific outcome in mind. Set your goals and have a game plan.

Set a specific objective or task for the networking event your are about to attend for example, “I’m going to meet five prospective new clients tonight.” or “I am going to collect 10 business cards at this event”. Stick to your game plan.

Be enthusiastic about your business when asked

When people ask you what you do, be excited and passionate about it. It you aren’t, don’t expect anyone else to be. This will certainly win you new friends if you are positive about all that you say and do with regards to your business, brand, product or service.

Thank the hosts of the event on your way out

Always find who is in charge of the event and make a point of personally thanking them before you leave. This will go a long way for you and it will also keep you and your business top of mind with the event organisers who are generally great people to have on your side as they are the ones that probably know the majority of the guests attending the event.

Don’t forget to follow up for the best results.

The best networkers are the people who actually work at networking. The overall winners are the people who are keen to meet new people, they take notes, they follow up quickly, they build relationships, they ultimately win new business.

Here’s wishing you all the very best with your networking endeavours and remember, when you make networking fun, fear disappears and confidence appears.

Happy Networking!

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