As a new business owner, networking is probably one of the many ways you are promoting your business. But how do you become an effective networker? There’s no point in going to networking events only to stand in the corner and watch others mingle.
Sometimes you might think you’d rather work from home in your pyjamas. However, when you go to these events promote your business and your brand.
Get noticed and be remembered
A positive first impression, is key. Dress the part and approach the experience as you might an interview. Love it or loathe it, it’s a necessary step in getting your business off the ground.
When people ask what you do, you need a succinct, persuasive sales pitch. It needs to capture their interest and engage them. In 30 seconds you should encapsulate a bit about you, why you started the business and what your business does.
Take plenty of business cards with you. When you have had a chat with someone, hand them a business card. It should include the name of your business, your contact details and your job title and a tag line if you so choose.
Practice it in front of the mirror and even with friends so that when you come to doing it for real with strangers, it comes to you naturally. You will appear more confident and self- assured which only strengthens the impact of your first impression.
I’ve always found it helpful to make a note of the people I’ve met at networking events, not only to extend my network but also to remember what I liked or didn’t like about them. Inevitably, the more networking events you go to, the more faces you are likely to bump in to again, but it doesn’t stop me thinking of every networking event as another learning opportunity from which to grow.