Women Entrepreneurs on How to Network a Room
Networking events can be nerve-racking, but do not worry.
Even the most seasoned networking pros probably have feelings of uncertainty.
Think of it as though it was your first day of kindergarten.
People are excited to meet new people or they wouldn't be at the event.
So go out there and be cool and confidant.
They will love you! Be Prepared: Bring your best business cards, your most charming elevator speech, and a positive mingling attitude.
Do your research about the club so you can gauge what kind of people will be there.
Approach: Wait for someone to walk up to you, or better yet, start up a conversation with someone who is standing alone.
People usually appreciate it if you take the initiative.
Be relaxed: Smile, make eye contact, and shake hands.
If you smile and approach people in a relaxed manor, it will in turn help put them at ease.
Be Genuine: Don't bring out those business cards too early.
Engage people in a personal conversation, showing them you are interested in who they are, not just what they can do for you.
Break the Ice: If you are not sure how to start a conversation, try making a casual remark about the weather, sports, movies, pets, or a common interest.
Listen Up: Show you are interested in what people have to say by asking plenty of questions and by being a good listener.
Show respect for their thoughts by smiling, making eye contact and nodding.
Open up the circle to others: If you are talking within a group of people, be inviting.
Position your shoulders somewhat outward, so that people walking by can easily enter the conversation.
If someone looks like they want to join in, you should catch them up on what you've been talking about.
For example: Hi! we were just talking about the difference between on-line networking vs.
As what is your take on that? Excuse yourself politely: Networking is hit or miss, and sometimes you will end up talking to someone who might not be a good match.
If you are ready for the conversation to end, politely excuse yourself by saying something like this: This has really been great.
Could we exchange cards so that we can continue this conversation? If you have already exchanged cards, try asking if you can continue the conversation over the phone.
Finish Strong: Make a great last impression by going over to the person with whom you had the best connection.
Give them a short polite goodbye by shaking their hand, looking them in the eye and thank them.
Tell them you enjoyed meeting them, and ask them when the best time to call would be.
Head over to the host and thank him or her for having you.
This will help you leave on a good note.
Then it's time to get out of there, because you do not want to be the last one to leave.
Hit the phone: Gather your pile of business cards and enter them into your phone.
While the leads are still hot, email or call the people who impressed you the most, telling them how much you enjoyed meeting them.
Here is a sample of what you could say: Hello Mary this is Carole from last evenings networking event.
I really enjoyed meeting you yesterday, how did things turn out for you?" Networking is all about starting a conversation.
Once you form a connection with someone, it'll be easier to maintain a fruitful business relationship.