5 Things You Can Do to Standout at a Networking Event
Have you ever been to a networking event? If so, you know networking can be intimidating, especially if you are stepping out of your comfort level, looking for a new job or just trying to get to know like-minded professionals like yourself. Many people like to use networking events to find potential clients or customers for their business. Are you one of them? If so, here are the 5 things you can do to stand out at a networking event when promoting your business:
- Conduct a Survey
Surveys, whether interview style or gathering specific data, this can help you document your experience, make a list of who you spoke to and be a great ice breaker. Surveys help you connect with someone more quickly by asking questions and find similar interests. It’s a unique and interactive way to “take notes”. Plus, it’s great market research!
- Be Your Own Publicist.
Ever heard of an elevator pitch? It’s a short description of a product, company or about yourself such that any listener can understand you or your business in a short period of time. It’s a great way to showcase yourself or business. Tell them how your product works, your specialty and why they should give you a chance. Don’t forget to mention how you’re different than competitors.
- Skip Industry Jargon. Make it simple and relatable to anyone. You never know who may be listening to your pitch.
- Practice before attending the Networking Events.
- Identify your Desired Action. What do you want to get out of your pitch?
- Show Enthusiasm.
Show interest in the person you are talking to. Engage in conversation and ask questions. Be patient. The conversation may not always be about you and your business. It’s important to be an active listener.
- Build Relationships
Showing how your product works, what skills you have and how you can easily connect with people from all lines of businesses is something we all want to do when we’re in front of a group of potential clients/customers. But this should be done, IF and only IF, the particular event you are at is the appropriate place to do this. The last thing you want to do at a networking event is come off as salesy. These things are about building relationships. So, while it’s important to let people know about what you do, there may be a better time and place for a more in-depth conversation. As long as the person you met knows what industry you’re in, they’re probably more likely to think of you first when they come across someone that needs your services because they actually had a genuine conversation with you!
- A Take Away
People will remember you if they have something to remember you by. Whether you’re looking for a job, new clients or customers, or just there to meet people, this is providing them with your business card, resume or something that will make them want to connect with you outside of the event.
Don’t forget Networking Events are about building relationships over time. It’s making that first impression, sharing contact information and making it easier to reach out to them outside of the event dynamics. Now go through your notes, start sending out emails and build your relationships for yourself or for your business! Good Luck!
How do you prepare yourself for Networking Events? What works for you? Share your experiences!