Networking goes hand in hand with running a successful business.
But many of us dread walking into a room and introducing ourselves to a bunch of strangers.
I’ve been asked to share my best networking tips at a meeting today of the National Association of Women Business Owners in Philadelphia. Here are the most valuable tips I’ve come across – and put to work myself – over the years:
- Resist the urge to arrive late. It’s almost counter-intuitive, but showing up early at a networking event is a much better strategy than getting there on the later side.
- Ask easy questions. Don’t wait around the edges of the room, waiting for someone to approach you.
- Ditch the sales pitch. Remember, networking is all about relationship building. Keep your exchange fun, light and informal – you don’t need to do the hard sell within minutes of meeting a person.
- Share your passion. Win people over with your enthusiasm for your product or service.
- Smile. It’s a simple – but often overlooked – rule of engagement. By smiling, you’ll put your nervous self at ease, and you’ll also come across as warm and inviting to others.
- Don’t hijack the conversation. Some people who dislike networking may overcompensate by commandeering the discussion.
- Remember to follow up. It’s often said that networking is where the conversation begins, not ends.
You can learn more at http://www.entrepreneur.com/blog/223468
Jacqueline H. Waller
You can learn more about Connecting Atlanta by visiting our website www.connectingatlanta.net.