Would you rather approach someone who’s smiling or frowning? A simple smile lets other people know you’re approachable. Be aware of how you may be perceived. Even if you’re nervous, as you realise that networking is fun, keep your head up, shoulders back and smile. A sensational smile is more powerful than you know.
- Stand Out
Differentiate yourself by wearing something bright that gets you noticed and remembered. In order to be outstanding, you must stand out.
We have two ears and one mouth for a very good reason. Listening is essential to networking success. You’re networking to build professional relationships, not to sell to everyone you meet. You’ll be amazed how listening improves rapport and enhances communication.
- Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Don’t operate in your comfort zone. It’s easy to cling to the people you already know. Networking is about meeting new people too, so be a social butterfly and work the room. As you do this more often, the easier it will become. Keep count of the new contacts you make, and you will soon become aware of exactly what I mean.
- Give And You Shall Receive
Avoid thinking about what’s in it for you. Instead, think about what you can bring to others. If you give someone a referral, they will remember you and will probably want to return the gesture.
When you meet someone who’s a good contact, get permission to call them and arrange a suitable time. Make a note on their business card where and when you met, so you can update your database or records later. Make sure you book the call in your diary and make that call, no matter what. There is no excuse for not following-up!
- You Have To Be In It To Win It
Whether it is breakfast, lunchtime or evening networking, get out there and network. We all question whether we should attend a networking event or not. Granted, you can’t miss what you’ve never had, but can you really afford to miss out on opportunities? Is it okay to later discover that a competitor received business that could have been yours?
Get out there, network and have fun!
This article was written and prepared by Tracy Heatley in 2009