1. Build personal connections
Don’t focus too much on yourself – build personal connections at networking events by getting to know the people you meet and understanding what they do. Try not to think about selling yourself and your business.
2. Listen and respond
The best way to make a good impression is to show genuine interest in the person you’re talking to. Listen to what they say and respond appropriately. If you drift off or seem disinterested, you’re unlikely to form a positive connection.
3. Ask questions
People enjoy talking about themselves and the things they care about – it’s natural. Ask questions that’ll give the person you’re talking to the opportunity to focus on themselves and the things they do, and they’ll leave the conversation feeling good.
Remember to be positive about their achievements, and never ask questions that are too personal for business.
4. Be yourself
Networking requires a degree of professionalism, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be yourself. Relax and try not to overthink.
5. Come prepared
If you can, research attendees and figure out who it might make sense for you to connect with. With just a little preparation you can ensure you’re focusing your time on forming the most beneficial relationships.
6. Attend with a friend or colleague
If you can, attend the event with a friend or colleague. Networking with a partner means you can talk to each other up. You might also feel more confident approaching a group if you have some support.
7. Use social media
Secure your connections using social media. LinkedIn, Instagram or even Facebook can help you stay in touch with the people you meet so you can reach out to them in future, so make sure you exchange details with the people you really connect with.
8. Keep conversations short
Don’t take up too much of somebody’s time. Whether you feel it’s going well or not, it’s best to keep conversations to around ten minutes in length.
Not only will maintaining short conversations help you concentrate on the most relevant topics, but it will also ensure you can meet the maximum number of people.
9. Dress for confidence
Dress for comfort and confidence. The last thing you want is to be feeling self-conscious as you approach new potential business connections.
This one’s important. Smiling can make you appear more approachable and can help you make a positive, memorable first impression.
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