Whether you are looking for people to hire or to learn new skills yourself, knowing how to network is critically important these days. It gives you access to the right people who can lead you to plenty of opportunities for both the present and the future.
While networking can easily be done online, there’s nothing quite like reaching out to others in the real world. In other words, offline networking is still an essential part of today’s society, and it could go a long way towards helping you achieve your goals.
With that said, talking to others in real life might feel a little daunting, especially if you have grown used to sitting behind your monitor to connect with other people. To help you out, here are some tips for face-to-face networking without feeling awkward:
1. Think ahead of time
Though you might think that you will be fine by taking a “go with the flow” mentality when preparing for a personal interaction, that is usually a recipe for an awkward experience. Before you know it, all the parties involved are left staring at each other without any clue as to what to say.
To avoid this embarrassing situation, you must think ahead of time. Familiarize yourself with the ongoing trends in your industry or that of the other parties. That way, you have many opportunities to spark relevant and productive conversation. Plus, even if they start talking about certain things that you do not know too much about, you at least would have a sense of how to respond.
2. Understand why you are talking
Do you know why you are talking to the other party in the first place? Well, you should. Otherwise, you will end up failing to achieve any of the goals you might have set. For this reason, it is always essential for you to know why you want an interaction is important, to begin with.
Is it to spread awareness of a new product you are about to launch? Are you looking for someone to teach you all about a new and unfamiliar trend? Find a clear goal that you want to achieve when conversing with others. That way, you and whoever it is you are talking to will know exactly what each other wants.
3. Ask questions and go easy on the praise
While you might be tempted to say how much you love a person’s work, this is not a way to start any conversation. The only reply you will get here is a “thank you.”
To ensure that you set yourself up for a good conversation, rather than pointing out all the admirable qualities or what they’ve done that you like so much, follow whatever you have to say with a “but.”
For example, you can say “Your innovations to the mobile phone have given you a massive advantage, but are you planning to expand to other sectors?” This kind of question paves the way for more meaningful interactions wherein all parties can gain something of value from each other.
Put simply, by adequately preparing yourself for any interaction, you will be able to achieve the goals you have set for yourself in your networking efforts. That said, once you start a good discussion, it is also crucial that you end it just as well!
End your conversation with a “let me know” and share a business card or exchange contacts. That way, you can reach out when the time comes, ensuring that your networking activities are not put to waste.
Are you looking for business network events in Perth? NRG Networking offers exclusive business events, training groups, meetings, and more! Reach out to us today.