Separate names with a comma.
Attending trade shows, exhibitions, networking breakfasts or even sales meetings can be a daunting prospect for any person, not only for entrepreneurs who are looking to start their own business.
However, networking is an essential part of startup life and it isn’t something that should be feared, even for the biggest introverts among us. Here are some of our top tips, so you can make the most out of any future networking opportunities you find yourself in and make sure you’re confident about doing so.
The Business Show is embarking on its 37th instalment on the 17 and 18 May - register for your free ticket now.
Preparing for an event
When you have chosen an event to attend, your attention must turn to how you can maximise your experience and get the full potential of the networking opportunities at your disposal.
Preparation improves the first impression you give and sets out a purpose to your attendance, making sure you get the maximum value out of the money and time you’ve invested.
Working on your introduction
Introductions are the age-old situation that has troubled many people over the years, with constant fretting over what to say. There are a few tips that you can keep up your sleeve to ensure you pitch yourself correctly when doing your introductions.
Firstly, know what you want to say about yourself by deciding upon a strategy to elevate your role or reason for talking to the person in question. By doing this, you alleviate the predictable listing of simply who you are and what you do by creating a specific-to-you pitch that leaves the listener with a developed and memorable idea of yourself. For instance, you could add an example of the work you do that’s relevant to their business or even involves one of their competitors.
Remember, the only objective for your introduction is always just to lead on to further conversation about your chosen networking topic - just focus on building rapport in the meantime.
Tips for keeping the conversation going
If you have prepared for your visit to the networking event properly, you will have a reasonable idea of what to say and who to say it to. For conversations, there is always a few things to keep in mind:
Ending a conversation with a new contact
Ending the conversation is the most important part of networking, so be memorable! If a conversation hasn’t been as productive as you had hoped then simply exit the conversation gracefully with something along the lines of ‘please do let me know how you get on with your work and don’t hesitate to get in touch if there's something you’d like to discuss anything further’.
The key to a good ending, regardless of if the talk went good or bad, is to ensure that it ends open, allowing potential for the conversation to be continued at a later date. If a conversation did go well, then follow it up!
The Business Show is the ultimate two-day event for startups and growing businesses, giving you the chance to network with thousands of other businesses and learn from over 250 seminars. It takes place on 17 and 18 May at the ExCeL in London - register for your complimentary ticket now.
Very informative article. Thanks
My pleasure Ankur, thanks for the feedback!
In my experience, people know people, so even if you find yourself talking to someone who you think isn't going to give you any "value", just remember they have a network too. I have found people will give referrals to their network, even if they have no need for what you're offering.