With the holidays rapidly approaching and festivities on the rise, there is no better time to network. It’s the perfect time of year to start building connections that can last well into 2013 and beyond. When you consider that even one or two new connections can lead to more work and more sales, you can see it is well worth the time. We understand you are busy;but it doesn’t take long to connect and make a great impression.
Here are our best holiday networking tips:
Get busy and start signing up for holiday networking and events – There are so many fun holiday parties, events, and networking opportunities happening now and over the next two months. It’s your opportunity to have some fun and get your name and face out there. Even better are all the opportunities and events that don’t require you to leave the comfort of your own home. Online holiday parties, Twitter parties, fun blog promotions, and other fun virtual events are just a few of the ways you can connect. If you’re having trouble finding events that will provide the best value for your time, try hosting your own. Whatever you do this holiday season, make a commitment to attend as many online and offline holiday events you can. Take advantage of the Chamber’s holiday breakfast or party to connect in a more informal way with everyone you see year-round. But remember, just going there isn’t enough; you need to engage and connect, which leads us to our next tip.
Truly Connect During the Event – What’s important is to be there during the event, even online events. Be present, and that means no multi-tasking and working on other things at the same time. Instead, be focused on interacting and getting to know people. Truly listen to what people are saying. During the holidays people are usually more relaxed and open to real discussions and conversations. Be that person others think about days after the event because of the great conversations they had with you or how much fun you were to be with. Those memories will last a lot longer than your 30-second pitch. Be personable. You’ll have your opportunity to sell later with social media and your other marketing efforts. For now, your goal is to start building relationships and get on the radar of those with whom you connect.No need to do the hard sell during holiday fun, so go ahead and have a great time.
Now this isn’t saying you can’t cheat a little. Know the group who will be present at the events you attend and research topics you think would interest them. A little, “Hey did you hear about the new Facebook tool that allows you to …” can really go a long way. Not only does it create conversation, but also (in a backhanded way) shows them your expertise. They’ll remember this about you.
Follow-up after the event with holiday fun – Yes, most will follow-up after events, but why not use the holidays to send even more holiday cheer? We hope you’re already sending out holiday greeting cards to all of your existing connections; but go ahead and add any new connections to your list as well. Also, for those really good connections – those people you really want to get to know better, consider sending a small gift such as a Starbucks gift card. It’s the little things that make lasting impressions. Holiday mugs are a great idea too. Consider some with motivational sayings as opposed to your logo. When the recipients use your mug on a daily basis to drink their morning coffee or tea, they won’t need your logo to remember where it came from.
It’s important to get started now. Many may think it’s too early; after all, it’s not even Thanksgiving yet. However, you can get everything ready, and once the target date hits, off you go. Advance preparation takes away the stress of having to do everything at once. And don’t forget, if you need assistance with any of your holiday marketing ideas, your online support specialist team is always available to pitch in.
Terry L. Green, President of BizEase Support Solutions, and her team of qualified online support specialists, provide seamless online marketing implementation, technology and administrative support solutions to speakers and business coaches worldwide. Visit http://www.bizeasesupport.com to find out how partnering with BizEase Support Solutions can help you grow your business, have more time, and make more money.