By: Dayo Fasasi
Networking is one of the most important keys to being a success entrepreneur. With technology today you can do a bit of this virtually, but studies have revealed that attending social engagement in your industry or profession is the best way to grow a network.
Here are six networking tips you can implement today:
- Cheer Up
You walk into a room full of faces, not sure who to talk to first. Chances are that you would consider the people with big smiles on their faces. While this is often overlooked, you can never go wrong with a smile. People are more likely to talk to you if you have a cheerful outlook which is proceeded by a smile.
- Relate Before Exchanging Cards
Before you whip out your business card, relate with the person first. Business card exchange is great, but if you don’t talk with the person they may not remember why they have your card. Half of cards exchanged at a conference get trashed right outside conference arena. Networking is not just about passing out your business card, the idea is to connect with people. Your business card is just a tool to create a face for yourself and your business. Relate so you can be remembered.
- Don’t Jump Into Conversation
Believe me, waiting for someone to come to you to start a conversation doesn’t work. Before you just start talking in a group say ‘hello’ to everyone, ask simple questions like “May I join you” or “What brings you to this event?” then proceed and listen attentive to their responses. Always join conversations with respect.
- Sell YOU and Not Products
Focus more on relationships building by selling YOU, rather than trying to sell products. Nigerian Entertainment Conference, TED Talk and other big conferences around the world have shown that the people who make the best out of networking are those who focus on relationships building.
- Share Your Passion
If you are not passionate about what you do, no one else will. When you meet people and get a chance to talk about your business, show how passionate you are about it. The excitement you feel for your business will spread to others and they will want to know more.
- Follow Up
Meeting people at events is one thing, following up is another. The key to keeping your contacts close is to follow up with them within 24 to 72 hours while they can still remember how you met. Mention them on social media and share photos taken together to keep the memory fresh.
If you follow these six tips at your next social engagement, you will be sure to add more people to your network.