Get to grips with our top networking tips
Are you new to networking and want to go to your first event equipped with some great tips? Or have you been networking for quite some time now but want to improve your skills so you can make more from it?
Either way, these 10 top networking tips will help you to hone your skills ahead of your next event:
Be clear on your offering
How can you expect someone to invest in you and your business if you don’t know what you’re selling? You’ve got to get this straight in your head – or even better, on paper – so there’s no confusion on your ideal client’s part when you start talking to them.
Join a virtual network
If you’re a bit unsure about heading straight into a real-life networking group, why not go virtual? It’s a great way to ease yourself in and will give you a test bed where you can practice your networking skills and put our top networking tips into practice, before heading to an in-person event. Once you’re a little more comfortable with networking and have started to build a few relationships online, give an in-person meeting a go and see how you get on!
This is a biggy – networking isn’t about selling at all, and attempting to do so can really ruin your chances of building great relationships that are based on trust. That’s what networking is all about. If selling’s your prerogative, networking’s probably not for you.
Do your research
It pays to know what you’re walking into, so by knowing who’s going to be in a room ahead of an event, you can have ready-made conversations in your back pocket to save any awkward silences. You can check people out on LinkedIn, on their websites, or even just on Google. It’s easy to find out a bit of basic background information on most people, so give it a go.
Take baby steps
Set yourself a target to speak to just one person at your next networking event. The next week, you don’t even need to speak to another new person if you don’t want to – you can focus on building the relationship with the person you met the last week. Make your targets achievable, not out of reach! If that means they’re only baby steps, so be it.
Join a professional body
This is a great way to connect with people in your line of work – and you never know who they’ll introduce you to! There’s zero harm in joining a professional body if you’re serious about networking, so what are you waiting for?
It can be easy to assume that you’re meant to talk, talk, talk at networking events, but your silence can be more valuable than your words. By listening to what other people have to say, you can build relationships more easily. If the conversation turns to you, talk about yourself for a bit and then ask a question back, turn the tables – taking a genuine interest in someone is only going to stand you in good stead.
Create a reason to get in touch
If there’s someone you want to speak to who you’ve met at a networking event, but you don’t want to talk shop and force a relationship, find a common interest that you can discuss with them – if you’re taking part in some kind of charity initiative and need sponsorship, ask them if they’ll sponsor you for it, and get a conversation started!
Be patient but politely persistent
There’s no need to go out all guns blazing at your first meeting – patience pays off in these situations. If you’ve been speaking with someone in your ideal audience and you’d love to work with them, don’t let them forget about you, but don’t pressure them into meeting with you. If you’re a familiar friendly face and you build a relationship with someone, they will remember where you are when they need you.
Perfect your 60-second pitch
Whether you’re new to networking and have only just got your words together, or if you’ve been reeling off the same 60-second pitch for years, take a closer look at what you’re saying – is there anything that could be made clearer? More concise? More insightful? Use those 60 seconds wisely, as you won’t get them back. By making a great first impression, you’ll be much more likely to make networking a success for yourself.
Put our top networking tips to use!
Now, take these top networking tips on board, and do your best! Have fun and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Before you know it, those 1-2-1s and referrals will come rolling in, and you’ll wonder what you were ever worried about – trust us.
If you have more questions or concerns when it comes to networking, we’ve got all sorts of information available right here on our website, with insightful blog articles and all sorts of free guides to help you get better results,
If you still can’t find what you’re looking for, please do get in touch, as we don’t want anyone to struggle with networking on our watch.