I’ve been challenged to get out of my comfort zone and find at least two networking events I can attend locally. While I might be an extrovert when surrounded by people I already know, that’s not the case when thrown into a situation with a bunch of people I’ve never met. It’s been a challenge, but I’m doing it, and it’s getting easier. Here are a couple of tips that have worked for me.
Picture this; you’ve signed up for an 8 a.m. networking event, and as you enter the event area you notice a lot of people have already arrived. Vacant seats are scattered about, but one table remains empty. Many people would choose the empty table and sit alone, but the savvy business professional knows the marketing power of four little words; “May I join you?” A simple phrase that breaks the ice and helps gain a new connection.When networking, remember it’s not just about you! Make it about them, and see what happens.Click To Tweet
Here’s another scenario; you notice a decision maker involved in the same LinkedIn Group conversation as you. You boldly message them, referring to the conversation and asking if you could connect outside of LinkedIn to share ideas. They agree. The meeting is arranged and you suddenly have your hypothetical “foot in the door.” As your meeting commences, you stifle the urge to launch into a stream of all the reasons your business is amazing, and instead try these four little words; “Tell me about you.” Not only does this phrase show you have an interest in learning more about their business, but those simple words can be an amazing marketing tactic to shift this person from a connection to a prospective client.
The next time you attend a networking event or have an opportunity to connect with someone who may be a prospective client, a referral resource, or simply someone you’d like to get to know better or with whom you’d like to collaborate, remember … it’s not just about you! Make it about them, and see what happens.
Also published on Medium.