We’ve all been told how important networking is, for meeting new clients, forming relationships and finding collaborations. But networking only works if you are at the right event where you can meet the right people.
This becomes an issue if the only networking events that you are attending aren’t right for you. Everyone knows that networking isn’t easy, and very few people are actually very good at it. It’s tough to introduce yourself to strangers in a professional way that is going to be memorable, and it’s tough to ask the right questions which can lead to finding business or clients or connections, and of course, for some people following up is tough! The next day when you forget to send that email or make that phone call which would have continued the conversation with a hopeful contact.
So here are a couple of tips for the reluctant networker…Tilly’s tips of course!
Don’t like networking? Don’t do it!
Like with most things in business and in life, you get out what you put in. If you hate networking, hate small talk, and hate intimidating ‘business’ people, then you may not succeed at these events and you will have trouble being authentic. If you don’t like networking, then you don’t need to do it, there are other ways of meeting people especially if you can become skilled at social networking online and on-the-go networking.
Networking isn’t just about handing out business cards!
What’s the point in going to an event and collecting 50 business cards if they don’t have any connection attached to them? They’re just going to weigh down your wallet or purse! Successful networking is about getting clients and making contacts. If you think about this as developing your resources, skills and client base, literally ‘developing your network of connections’, then there may be more success.
Use your Social Media
If the thought of networking events makes you shudder, utilise social networking beforehand. You could research the event on Twitter, find out who is going and make a quick connection, a tweet saying hello before you even arrive. Instantly you have already overcome the stranger element of meeting.
This is the mother of all business networking tools! It’s great to research specific job titles, so you can find out who is doing a specific job. And if you have a good number of connections it can become pretty useful when it suggests other people you might know or who might be useful to you. And you can search for specific names and see how this person connects with other people already in your network.
So you may have those business cards lurking in the bottom of your bag to be added to your database or LinkedIn later, but the reality is that if you don’t follow up quickly and regularly, then it becomes irrelavaent and may be forgotten. Make sure you follow up as soon as you can!
If you're looking for a professional space to hold a networking event, then 54 St James Street could be perfect. We have plenty of different sizes and spaces of rooms that we can help you decide upon and make your networking event tailored to you and your needs. Get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0151 706 8100