How To Network At Networking Events
Why would you go to a networking event? Because it is one of the easiest ways to meet the largest number of new people in the shortest amount of time. This is the most effective way to seek out new people that you may want to include in your network. Now, how do you prepare for such an event? Here’s a few tips!
If your business is a service or in a trade and you have uniformed apparel, that’s fine as long as the clothing is fresh and clean. It can be a real bonus if your shirt is emblazoned with your logo. Otherwise, traditional business attire or business casual are fine, as long as they represent the business sector you work in.
Define Your Mission
Look for target industries, companies or good referral sources for you. Choosing ahead of time gives you an advantage and a defined mission. When you meet someone on your list, tell them you’ve been wanting to meet them. They will be flattered.
Remember to be of Value First
Is there someone on the attendee list you can be of value to? It is easier to focus on helping others, and the pay-it-forward results are rewarding.
Don’t Drink Alcohol
The danger in mixing alcohol and networking is being in the too-relaxed danger zone. Think of this as an extension of your workday— because it is. Go for the non-alcoholic beverages. You want to remain sharp and in control.
Practice Your Introduction
How should you introduce yourself? In all cases, make it short. “Hi, I’m Rob. “I teach people how to network.” “Hi, I am Susan. I help business owners get more for their marketing dollar.” That’s it.
Plan to Arrive Early
I arrive at any networking event at least 30 minutes early and I stay a minimum of 30 minutes after it is officially over. If you arrive early, you are most likely to be the first person in the room. What’s so good about that? Not only will you be the first person to meet the second, third and fourth person to arrive, but you’ll more than likely have access to the organizers and maybe even the keynote speaker or sponsor of the event. That means you will have had the opportunity to have met four to five new contacts before the event even starts!
And most importantly, don’t forget your business cards!
Relationships are the backbone of business success. Rob Thomas has proven that who you don’t know is costing you.
In his book, Who Do You Need to Meet, Rob Thomas unlocks the secrets of his Rob Thomas Method™ (RTM™) of networking to provide readers with an easy, logical, systematic and actionable process for efficient, successful networking.
Some of the ingredients in the RTM™ secret sauce include:
- The #1 Rule in cultivating business relationships
- How to identify your Top 10 business connections
- Why your message matters
- Questions to ask and what their answers tell you
- How to qualify the potential of a new connection
- How to re-evaluate your existing connections