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  • Top Networking Tip #8

    Introduce yourself.

    If you want to be noticed then sometimes you have to break the ice first.

    Networking events are huge and there are many people there feeling just like you, little nervous, little alone, little unsure of what to do or how to approach someone.

    A couple of mini tips for “fitting in” are;

    • hang around the trade table, check out other the other business cards on the table
    • introduce yourself to the host
    • look around for some one else who is “looking a little alone” and go up and say hi
    • Look for the person in the room who appears the most out going, they will be happy to say  hi to you

    What is the worst thing that can happen if you go up to someone and say hi? Do you really believe they are going to be mean, ignore you or walk away? After all they have come to the networking event with the same intention in mind, to meet and connect with others in business.

    So you are all there for the same purpose, so go up and say hi! Find someone friendly and introduce yourself briefly and then ask them questions about themselves. Who doesn’t like to talk about themselves?!

    Some sample questions could be;

    1. What is your name and business(obviously!)
    2. How long have you been doing this?
    3. Have you always done this?
    4. Why do you do this?
    5. What type of clients do you have(this will help you determine whether your target market is the same ie for joint venture opportunities)
    6. Ask leading questions that require an answer and an opportunity for you both to find common ground, common interest and other synchronicities.
    7. Be polite, if you do not “click” with someone and are not interested in connecting further then find the right time to exit with grace and manners.

    But most of all don’t stand around at an event looking and feeling uncomfortable, be brave, I know it may be intimidating, but you have decided to spend your time, energy and money on that event so it is really important you get the most out of it. With practice and experience it will get easier I promise!

    Remember baby steps. If you can set your self some mini goals to reach at every event you attend that will stretch you further each time you go then you are doing great.

    Step one might be simply to say hello to one new person.

    Step two might be to swap business cards with 2 other like minded people.

    Step three might be to organise a follow up coffee date with someone you have connected with.

    Find someone who looks friendly, who is buzzing about the room, who feels approachable and go and say hi, they will love to connect with you.

    If you should ever see me at a networking event, then please come and say hi, cos I have plenty of friendliness and chatter to share.

    x Natalie

    Published on May 13, 2011 · Filed under: Events, Networking;
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