Have you noticed that you are receiving MUCH more invitations to networking events than you ever did before? It’s no accident. With the job market in upheaval and so many people starting their own businesses these days, more people are pursuing more networking opportunities than ever before.
The problem is, many people DON’T know the first thing about working a networking event SUCCESSFULLY.
Instead of going into a networking event with the mindset that you are going to “sell” to people at all costs about yourself and/or your company products and services, try a different approach…
…ask people what the most critical challenges are that they face. Ask them how the depressed economy has hurt their prospects, their job search, their business. Find out from them what are the greatest challenges they face in growing a business, generating leads, introducing new products to market, advertising/promotions, retaining staff, expanding their business into new markets, etc. Your approach when it comes to networking is to be as interesting and interested in others as possible.
Research who will be in attendance before you go to a networking event. Most people have bios written about themselves, either on a social media site such as LinkedIn or Facebook, or they have a bio on their company website, a panel dsicussion they participated in, a professional Association they belong to, etc.
The more you learn about others beforehand and then during an event, the more likely you will be to make a great first impression. Always approach a networking event as an opportunity to build relationships and add value to others.
Someone who can help people resolve their own issues by generating revenues, reducing costs, improving processes, or just plain old solving others’ problems will be extremely successful. If you take the approach of forcing yourself on someone, the desperation in your approach will come through loud and clear. People will almsot assuredly go out of their way to avoid you or choose not to pursue a relationship with you.
What are your thoughts? Any great networking tips or HORROR STORIES?