We are in the age of networking. So many avenues, events and forums that are available to almost all of us, almost at ease. I see a lot of people make good use of these forums to build strong networks and connects. Like always, there are pros and cons to everything; so is with networking. Though its an integral part of your business; its time consuming, expensive and also sucks a lot of your energy. At times, you even feel dejected, in case the event is not as per your taste or expectation.
Well then, what do we do to get the most out of it?
Right things in life are always tough to follow and adapt. The easier ones get the best of us, so we generally choose them and miss the bigger picture. Let me take your through this in detail with some right things to do:
- Choose your event: Spend 10 minutes understanding the event before you register. Go thru the attendee list and ask yourself if you want to meet this set (or similar) of people. Don’t fall prey for few big names, its just an eyewash.
- Have an event calendar: Unless you have a set discipline, this habit of yours might eat away a lot of your productive/active work time. All events are planned well in advance, so you can add the chosen events in your calendar and stick to it. Unless you are invited as the chief guest to an event.
- Share with your partner: If you have business partner(s), make sure you share events among yourselves. There could be people with whom you might not be able to break ice. Or, your partner might give a different perspective of the same event or a person. This also helps in business continuity strategy.
- Don’t shower cards: I have seen a lot of people going around and exchanging cards left right and center (literally showering cards on people). Their satisfaction comes when they exhaust their card folder. Their objective is just to distribute as many cards as possible. You must be laughing now! Get out of it. In fact, you should be choosy to offer your business card. You are a special person, value yourself first! Moreover, you don’t want to spam your mailbox too.
- The first 60 seconds: Now this is the best part of true networking. You get to know a person in the first 60 seconds and decide if you really want to have this connect or not. The logic is that it applies for both parties. The other fellow is also looking for a good connect and if you are not his right contact, he will switch off immediately and that’s your cue to buzz off. This real art of networking gets the best of very few people. Remember, multi-million dollar deals doesn’t start in boardrooms! If you get connected to the right person, spend the rest of the evening with the same person and close the deal. A deal in hand is much better than 10 deals in your excel funnel. The highly successful entrepreneurs know this well and they value time.
- Be alive and kicking: While all the above points are important, this is a must-have. Don’t go to an event to check your Facebook or WhatsApp messages. It really shows on your face. We all know that ‘People buy people’ and not products or services or brands. If you are boring, where is the point of buying your ideas? Stay alive & stay kicking to look your best, for the best deal of your life!