Do you want to make more of your networking events?
Have you been struggling to get the results you know are possible from networking groups? Have you got to the point where you don’t really know if it’s worth going along anymore?
There is a knack to networking, that’s very true – and it does come naturally to some people – but the good thing about that? All skills can be learned, so with a little practice, you can get the knack!
Here at DARWIN.vip, we’ve honed those very skills over the past decade and counting. And, even better, we’d love to share them with you.
Take it one connection at a time
Networking is all about being able to build meaningful connections, and then to maintain those relationships by following up after meetings and making a conscious effort to keep in touch.
Now, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your network won’t be either. It’ll continually evolve, one relationship at a time. Each time you meet somebody new and make a connection with them, your network will expand, and who knows what’ll come from each person you meet!
Don’t feel like you have to rush around the room and introduce yourself to everybody – there’s always another week. Let your conversations flow naturally, and keep your focus on the person in front of you. If you’re scanning the room and planning your next chat while they’re opening up to you about their business, they might not be bothered about talking to you again in a hurry.
Be confident, open and approachable
Your body language, and even your outfit, can say a thousand words before you’ve even had the chance to open your mouth. Relax, be careful not to fold your arms, hold your head up high, make eye contact with people, and smile. Whether it’s a formal or informal meeting, dress appropriately, and walk in confidently.
By making yourself open and approachable, more people will gravitate towards you to strike up conversation. Be sure to pay attention to what they’re saying, remember their name, and ask relevant questions along the way. It’s important to make them feel comfortable talking to you, as you’ll be more likely to get a 121!
Be sure to follow up
When you have made a connection with someone at a networking meeting, be sure to follow up with them to ask them for a 121 – it’s not difficult to invite someone to join you for a coffee, but it is important to remember to strike while the iron’s hot.
Asking a day or two after you’ve met is great, but leaving it until a month or so later probably won’t give you such good results.
When you’ve met someone new who you think would fit into your network quite nicely, why not pop a reminder in your calendar to send them a message later that week? That way, you can’t forget!
Keep in touch
If you haven’t spoken to someone outside of your networking group for a while, get in touch with them to see if they fancy meeting for a 121!
By checking in regularly with people in your network, you’ll build those relationships as it’ll show that you care about how they’re doing. When you check in, why not see if there’s anything you can do to help them? Or, even better, be proactive and reach out to them with something that you think will help them without even asking! They’ll really appreciate the thought.
Keeping in touch is mainly down to organisation – why not set a recurring monthly reminder in your calendar to check in with certain contacts? You can save time by using the same template for multiple contacts, but be sure to double-check each message in case you’ve forgotten to change something, otherwise you may find yourself in an awkward situation…
Make the most of LinkedIn
LinkedIn’s a massively underused tool. How often do you add new connections who you’d love to have in your network? Maybe industry specialists, people in your ideal audience, someone you’ve seen in the same circles but never had the chance to speak to… the list goes on. Use LinkedIn to make that first move, but be sure to send a personalised message to them that has a little bit of depth.
‘Hi, how are you doing? I’d love to connect!’ just won’t cut the mustard here, as you’re essentially a stranger to them. Put a bit of thought into it, say how you think you could help them, or how what they offer could help you, and highlight just how good the relationship could be for you both.
Set yourself a goal to add 10 new connections each week, and you’ll soon start seeing a change in how you use LinkedIn – you’ll get more out of it, for sure!
Put those networking skills into practice!
If you want to build a great network of contacts and grow your business, networking is a fantastic way to do both. By learning these skills and remembering to apply them every step of the way, you’ll be on the road to networking success.
Do you need a hand developing all these networking skills, fast? Find out how to become a better networker with DARWIN.vip, networking experts – download this free guide to get started!