How to network at events?
There are many articles about effective networking at events. I have tried to read many of them (some from the top journals and speakers) and I must say I am not impressed. It is all just a bunch of boring rules. Arrive prepared, do your research, have business cards, smile often etc.
But what nobody talks about is HOW TO ENGAGE IN A REAL CONVERSATION.
This is what networking really is about. This is the crucial thing that many forget about. When was the last time you have closed a business deal or made a sale? Was it because you have an excellent website that you have demonstrated to somebody? Was it because you have a great Instagram account with beautiful photos? Yes, all those things help with your marketing but….your recent sale or a client who decided to trust you was a result of a conversation or a discussion you two had. NEWS FLASH!
So focus on having the meaningful conversations with people. Talk about your industry, trends, technology. Talk about problems. Find out what bothers them. Only then you will know how you could help with your product or service. Ask questions and seek answers. Do not be afraid to talk and really connect.
Meaningful relationships are always based on meaningful conversations.
In order to have them, you need to better yourself everyday- read, study, discover new trends. You need to be really good and have something to say. Think about providing value to people. People should be able to learn from you, discover something new when you speak. And vice versa- let people tell you something you did not know. Do not be proud- anybody can add value to your life, as we have all different experiences.
Networking is about engaging in a conversation and getting to know the people
Be careful- I do not think you can fake this. You must be genuinely interested in getting to know various people and engaging in a conversation to bring your relationship to the next level. I work in the luxury market, looking after executive groups and I will never book my clients into a hotel that has unpleasant staff and a bad attitude- no mater how luxurious. I like to work with people I can trust, relay on, who have the same passion as me in delivering the best service. Nothing less! I respect people’s time and money and I am only interested in the very best. I bring that attitude to the business and I seek the same attitude form my partners. I cannot tell you how many times I had a great conversation with someone and a fantastic friendship followed. This is the real networking. Forget about anything else. Anything else is just noise.
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