Updated: Mar 14, 2020
Networking can sometimes feel forced and unnatural, but it doesn't have to be! Here are our best tips to make the most out of your next networking event and make networking feel not so suit-and-tie-cubical like.
7 Networking Tips
Whether you're starting your business, changing career paths, or have been with the same company for 10 years, networking is the sauce to your career life sandwich - it brings it all together.
Like the saying, you don't know what you don't know - you don't know who, you don't know. Networking is a great way to support your business. You may not necessarily need that connection now, but if/when you do in the future it's good to have the right people you can go to.
Let's get into it!
Show up. Register for an event - you'll never be able to meet people and grow your personal network if you don't get out there and talk to people. Every individual has a story, something to share, or can add value so show up and bring your best self to every conversation.
Ask questions. Start off with some easy ones. You would be AMAZED at what a simple "Can I join you?" does or go for "What brings you to this event?" Don't get overwhelmed at the start of the conversation, find out the basics: "Where are you from?", "What do you do for a living?", "Have you tried the dip?", "Do you have any pets?". And next, it's worth mentioning tip #3.
Listen. Make a point to listen, and actually listen. Try not to interrupt so the other person can finish their thought. The things that people say are important, usually the things people share are things that are fresh in their minds and have happened recently. When they start a topic try to listen and learn more about what they're talking about.
Share your passions. Avoid the elevator pitch. It may seem counter intuitive but try to get to know someone outside of their work life. Ask "What are your hobbies?", "What do you like to do on the weekends?" and share yours in return. Whether you're attending a networking event to get a job, gain referrals, or acquire clients - people want to do business with people they like. Give people a chance to fall in love with you, not your resume.
What can you offer? Before you start asking for favors, try to think of how you can lend a hand to that person. It doesn't have to be huge either- it could be connecting them with someone for a project their working on or sending them a good book recommendation. Every connection should be mutually beneficial.
Connect. PLEASE do not forget to connect (after all this is the entire reason you went to the event). Do it right then and there! Linkedin, instagram, phone number, facebook - choose them all or choose your favorite! Bonus points if you snap a pic with your new friend.
Reconnect. This is very important. Make your new connection even stronger by reconnecting with them after the event. Whether it be something that made you think of them, giving them the info you'd share (re: tip #5). Try to do this no later than 3 days after the event but better late then not at all.
Let's put your networking skills to test!
Join Flourish for our next event to meet new people, get involved in the community, learn from others, and grow your personal network of amazing individuals!