Networking is a critical component for business success. Individuals who practice smart networking have more resources and a much stronger shot at acquiring business opportunities.
So, maybe you’ve registered for a networking event but now you are eager to maximize your returns. Here are your top 5 tips on networking smart:
Tip 1 — Set an objective
Be prepared. Prior to even registering for a tech meet up, you should know exactly why you want to attend. Perhaps you are seeking a new business opportunity? You may need some brand recognition. Maybe you are doing market research or investigating a new field.
With networking, you need to remember
quality over quantity.
Sometimes you just need one person to open the door to a world of opportunity as opposed to a group of irrelevant acquaintances.
Tip 2 — Set goals
Speaking of being strategic, be aware of what you need to do in order to achieve your objectives. Write down three goals before entering and event and make sure you check them off before your meet up concludes.
· Meet a new person
· Find out who is in charge of speaking opportunities
· Find a strategic partner
Tip 3 — Don’t be a wallflower! Many people find initiating conversations with strangers to be extremely intimidating. Remember, everyone at these events is looking to strike up conversations with new people and learn about a common topic of interest.
Opportunities rarely fall into your lap, so get ready to seek them out! Let people know what you do. If you find someone is not interested, maybe they can refer you to someone that is, or simply move on! You have nothing to lose but time, so get moving!
Tip 4 — Don’t forget your business cards! In today’s generation, you should also be ready to connect via LinkedIn. Download the app and be ready to connect with guests that have a common interest as you.
Tip 5 — Follow up with valuable connections!
For best practices, send a “nice to meet you” or “best of luck with your business” note within 5 days of an event’s closure.
If you want to maintain a connection, be sure to engage every so often with these people by simply sharing an article, liking a post or tagging the user in some interesting content. Keeping a database of people you want to stay in contact with and “touch them” at least once a month to stay top of mind.
In the long run, the best networking group can be one that you create on your own. If you meet a group of people with common goals, interests and skill sets, you could create a subgroup after the event to keep collaboration rolling. With the help of LinkedIn, this is now seamless. Invite the people you want to grow connections with and encourage members to invite others who can help. You can even consider a virtual and physical group.
Remember, the more effort and time you put into a networking event the more value you will squeeze out. Using each one of these tips, remember to always stay authentic! Networking should be genuine, and if done correctly, it can be paramount to you company’s success.
If you are looking for worthwhile networking events for Entrepreneurs and CEOs in the tech industry, check out Northof41.org!