The Art of NETWORKING

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You may have been to networking events and come away feeling like it was a complete waste of time. I suspect that is because you haven’t mastered some key elements or understandings about what you needed to do during these events. You may even have given the wrong impression without even knowing it.

Here are some tips for your next networking event:

  • Understand that you don’t go to networking events to be SOLD to. So, neither do others. You are there to build relationships, share information, meet PEOPLE, make connections etc. Networking is not selling. 
  • Networking is 55% about what you wear, 38% about how you say stuff, and 7% about what you say.  Making a first impression by dressing the part is important then. 
  • MAKE it easy for people to remember your name. Are you good at remembering names? I’m not. Make it easy for people and get a name badge. This needs to be positioned on your right above the chest because most people will shake hands with their right and looking at your right. 
  • ONLY hand out business cards that are in good condition. Throw out all the ones in the bottom of your bag or in wallet. Buy a business card holder to keep them in.
  • BE excited about what you do. Don’t diminish what you do by using words that diminish it for example little, wee and small. Don’t say for example “ I have a little book keeping business.” Instead you could say “I have a profitable book keeping business” or “ I have a boutique book keeping business”
  • ALWAYS shake hands with men and women. If you have a firm handshake you may need to dial it back for some. Test it out on friends and colleagues to get it right.
  • DON’T hang around the edges of the meeting. You won’t meet anyone there. Make sure to include people if they are hovering around the edge of a group you are in. If you don’t know anyone find someone who is on their own and speak to them. 
    Lastly, 87% of what you worry about never happens so go for it. 

Got any networking tips? Love to hear them.

Kerri Bainbridge

One half of the Anywhere Team NZ #

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