How to network – The Hives’ top tips on tricks on how to get the most out of networking
Firstly, you may be thinking what is networking? I would define networking as an effective and low – cost method of gaining new contacts and developing sales opportunities through referrals and introductions. Networking can be seen as such a big part of finding new leads and customers as it is such an easily accessible and simple way of communicating with people.
- Find a common ground – build up a rapport with the person you are speaking to. If you find a common interest you can speak about more than just business, you are starting to build a relationship
- Choose the right networking event – there are different kinds of networking events and you need to ensure you are attending the type best suited to you and your business.
- Ditch the jargon – Make sure people know what you’re talking about, this is all about knowing your audience. This will make what you say a lot clearer and make it stick in their mind a lot better
- Ditch the lists – try not to turn up to networking events with a list of things you want. Of course, always have a goal in mind but try and keep an open mind and see what you can offer
- Follow up on leads – when you get home or back to the office after a networking don’t just toss away the business cards you collected make sure you connect with them on LinkedIn or add them to your mailing lists, so they don’t forget about you. When connecting on LinkedIn make sure you personalise your message to ensure they know who you are, and it gives you a chance to build on another conversation
- Be interesting – Networking is effectively used to gain more business however you don’t just need to talk about your job role, add some humour and anecdotes. People might want to know about you as well, it is always good to build a relationship with someone.
By Grace Lamb
Event and Communication Coordinator.