Get There Early
While it may be easy to talk yourself into being fashionably late, arrive early or on time for your next networking event. You want to represent your business in a positive light and arriving at a professional time (on time) says a lot. It is easier to get involved in conversations if you are already at the event when fellow networkers arrive.
Open ended questions are a great way to get to know people. This technique allows others in attendance to talk, which in turn helps you listen and get to know your fellow business owners and employees. If you are not a fan of being in the spotlight, asking other people questions can help take the light off of you, if that would make you more comfortable.
Focus On Building Relationships
Don't try to push your business or message on fellow networkers at the event. This can make others feel that you are all about making a sale and not interested in relationships. Focus on getting to know fellow business owners in the area - you will be amazed at what comes from such relationships.
Eye contact is a great way to build trust and show fellow networkers that you ARE interested in what they have to say. It's also important to smile when meeting and talking with new people. If you don't have a pleasant smile on your face, you may seem unapproachable and give off the wrong vibe.
Think About Your Goals As A Networker
Before entering your next networking opportunity, be sure to evaluate what your goals are for the event. Whether you want to meet new business owners in the area or build further on existing relationships, keep focused as to why you are at the event.
While networking is something you should take seriously for your business, it's important to have fun. Fellow networkers can tell if you are having fun and this can help you seem more approachable, build more contacts, and meet more people.
Often times the success of your business can go hand-in-hand with networking. While it's not always comfortable at first, it's important to keep working on your skills and making improvements at every event you can attend. With many skills in life, networking takes practice. Don't feel discouraged after your first event - you likely did better than you give yourself credit for! To learn more about upcoming events in which you can polish your networking skills, visit our website for upcoming networking events at the Lake of the Ozarks.
Contact Your Lake Area Chamber Of Commerce!