How are business networking events similar to Marmite? You either love or hate them. But even if you are leaning more towards the latter option, some business networking tips can make this ‘chore’ the more enjoyable. After all, we generally do better at things we enjoy. So what can you do to make yourself more confident, when faced with a room full of strangers?

Prepare Your Pitch

One of the best networking method is to be able to concisely describe your business in less than 20 seconds. If your pitch start with something along the lines of ‘it’s quite complicated’, you’re going wrong

Business Cards At The Ready

Does your business card say something good about your business? Do you like it? Are you proud of it? Are your details up-to-date? If the answer to all these is yes, you will be surprised how many people you have an advantage over. Your card is your main prop at networking events, so make sure it works for you.

Remember Names and Faces

When introduced to someone, ask their name and repeat it back to them while visualising someone you know well that has the same name standing next to them. This can work a treat when it comes to remembering names. As for their business, if they run a bakery for example, visualise your friend with the same name holding a loaf of bread.

Offer Something Other Than Your Product

No-one likes an aggressive seller, but people do feel obliged to listen to a proposition from someone who has helped them. The best networkers are often people who look for ways to help those they meet. If you already know people, you have knowledge, so be generous and help people out – they won’t forget it.

Look and Listen For Openings

Something that already connects you to someone else is a good conversation-starter. Listening to people and demonstrating a real interest in people you meet is extremely important to success.

Don’t Overstay Your Welcome

After a few minutes with each person you should be thinking about moving on. You don’t want to outstay your welcome or allow yourself to be bored by those you’re talking to.

Go To The Right Events

Be selective. Not all networking events will be right for you. Call the organisers and do as much research as you can before you attend.

Success Isn’t Easy

Don’t expect success to be instant, follow up someone you met that was of interest with a quick email the next day to say hello. It will quickly give you an advantage over many of the other company representatives they met last night.

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