Networking Tips for Our Upcoming Christmas Social

Networking can do wonders for you and your business. From meeting business prospects to getting to know fellow business people in the area, you can gain a lot from proper networking. While some may attend a social event and visit with a friend or familiar face the entire time, it's much smarter to try to make new connections at every networking event you attend.

The Lake Area Chamber of Commerce Christmas at Willmore social is Tues, Dec 19 from 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM. Santa shows up at 5:30, we'll have free appetizers, and a cash bar hosted by Baxters. We hope you'll plan to attend and bring the kiddos to see Mr. Claus himself!  While your're here, try putting some of these networking tips into action and make a goal to generate at least one new contact during the event!

6 Networking Tips to Help Make New Connections

1. Stay Approachable
It's important that others feel comfortable around you, especially at a networking event. Try to smile at everyone you come across and say hello. Sitting off in the corner and appearing bored is an easy way to be avoided all night. Keep your body language open, friendly, and approachable.

2. Arrive Early (or at least on time)!
It is best to walk into a room that isn't crowded yet, which makes arriving to the networking event on time important. If others have already started congregating, you may feel like an outsider walking in. Another perk of arriving early is the opportunity to say greet others as they walk in.

3. Get to Know Other People (Outside Your Circle)
Remember the reason you came to the event - to network. It can be tempting (and comfortable) to just socialize your circle of friends and business associates, but it's important to work the room and make new connections to. As you are introducing yourself and meeting new people, it's important to understand that most people aren't at the social to "buy". They are there to make connections too. So launching into your sales pitch isn't a great way to build that new relationship. Instead, help build trust by asking non-business related questions.

Some ideas (from Santa, of course) for THIS social:
  • Do you have an special holiday plans?
  • What's your favorite family holiday tradition?
  • Do you still believe in Santa Clause? ;-)
  • Have any New Year's resolutions personally or for your business?

4. Bring Business Cards
While the goal is to leave a lasting personal impression on everyone you meet, a business card can serve as a friendly reminder of your meeting too. Again, people don't really go to socials to "buy", so the power with business cards is in the follow up. After you exchange cards, make a personal note on their card to remind yourself of the conversation you had. This will help you write a nice opening to your follow up email so you can let  them know how much you enjoyed meeting them!

5. Listen Carefully
This goes along with getting to know the person behind the business. Being a good listener can help others share important information that you may be interested in. People are more likely to share information if they feel like you are truly interested in what they have to say.

6. Be Inclusive
If you are networking with a group of people, invite fellow networkers to join you. You don't want others to feel left out and it's a great way to meet yet another person that may be in need of your services! People usually remember how you make them FEEL and inviting someone to join your group is a great way to make someone feel good.

Test out some of these tips at Christmas at Willmore Networking Social next Tuesday, Dec 19, 2017 from 5PM - 7PM!  If you make a new contact, we'd love to hear about it! If you have other tips not listed here that work for you, please share. We have a vast knowledge base with our membership, so we know other members would love to benefit from your experience!

Contact Your Lake Area Chamber Of Commerce!

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