Proven Networking Tips from the Pros

Networking is an effective way to grow a business at the Lake of the Ozarks. Here at the Lake Area Chamber, we get to see the positive impact networking has on our Lake Area Chamber members each month at our networking socials. Check out the tips from professionals who have made networking a big part of their business plan and has proven to help their ventures grow.

Seek Out Someone New

It's always fun to catch up with old acquaintances and friends, but keep in mind the purpose of a networking event. Meeting new people is a great way to continue to grow your network. You can always make a friendly introduction from a new networking partner to an old acquaintance. This can help you show the new networker that you take networking seriously and you want to help them meet others, as well.

Avoid Jumping Into the Sale

Sell, sell, sell is a quick way to put off a number of networkers. It's not a good tactic and can seem very tasteless. Listen to others as you attend a networking event - you will find natural ques in which you can inform others about your business product or service. Listening can help to build a lasting relationship with others instead of looking for a quick sale.

Have Business Cards on Hand

Business cards a great networking tool. Once you've exchanged cards with someone - they have your contact information handy. It's also a great way to stay top-of-mind with those you have met. Remember to follow up with those you've exchanged cards with if you discussed doing business together or setting up a meeting outside of the networking event.

Wear Your Best Smile

While many people do not realize it, they may seem intimidating or unapproachable. Try to keep a friendly smile on your face when attending a networking event. Give a smile to anyone that you make eye contact with. It helps them feel more welcome and may help the two of you spark up a conversation.

Invite Networkers In

If you see someone standing on their own, break away from your group and make them feel welcome. Introduce yourself and start getting to know this person. You will likely get them to open up very quickly since they can feel your kindness. Many people will not remember exactly what you have said at a networking event, but they will remember how you have made them feel.

Make a Personal Connection

Many times small talk can lead to sharing personal information. This is where connections really start to build. It's okay to share personal information at a business networking event - people like to do business with other people they have a personal connection with. Personal relationships are much more memorable than business conversations - be memorable and connect on a personal level with fellow networkers.

Ask Open Ended Questions

After a fellow networker has shared something with you, ask questions about it. This can help show that you really were paying attention and that you care about what they have to say. It's also another way to get connected and help make a memorable relationship with one another.

Make Eye Contact When Speaking

Eye contact is an unspoken communication method. It's important to look someone in the eye when meeting them and having a conversation. Don't take this too far and creep them out, though. Be natural with your eye contact and don't stare at another networker during your conversation. This may be seen as you zoning out and staring or being a little awkward.

Test out these networking tips at our upcoming Lake Area Chamber social. Our socials are held on the 3rd Tuesday of each month. Our socials are just an added way for our members of the Lake Area Chamber to gain exposure. If you're looking for a unique way to grow your business and shine a spotlight on the exciting things happening at your business, join the Lake Area Chamber of Commerce at our upcoming social on September 17th at LandShark Bar & Grill from 5:00-7:00pm.

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