Not everybody is comfortable with the idea of meeting new people, but it may be necessary for the field of work you are in. If you are a business owner, run a company, or represent a brand in any way, keeping a professional network is a necessity. For instance, a network will keep you posted on the latest developments and major changes in your industry that could be crucial to your business’s long-term growth.
That said, it still doesn’t take away from the fact that it could be awkward or even nerve-wracking to think of striking a conversation with a complete stranger. To help you out, NRG Networking shares some tips on how you can start on the right foot with people who could be in your professional network:
Use a Compliment for Your Opening
Everybody warms up easily with a compliment, but if you’re not comfortable with the idea of complimenting someone you don’t know, then simply saying something nice about the event will go a long way. It may be the venue, the food, the program, and more.
Simply Introduce Yourself
Why overthink things when you can do a simple introduction? Most of the time, people prefer this over a weird ice breaker that feels scripted. One thing to note, however, is that you should make sure that the information you share about yourself is focused more on your professional side instead of your personal life. For instance, instead of telling your new acquaintance where you live, tell them where you work and what you do.
Use Open-Ended Questions
If you want the conversation to keep going, you have to ask open-ended questions. This will also show your new acquaintance that you are genuinely interested in knowing more about what they do, their business or project, what they like most about their job, and more.
Ask About Their Expectations of the Event
People who are attending the same event as you may have different reasons for being there. You can discuss the event with the people that you meet there and ask them about their experience so far and what they expect to gain from the event. Don’t hesitate to tell others why you are there as well, and let them know you’re looking forward to building a network of people from the same industry or interdependent industries who can partner up, collaborate, or simply help each other.
Don’t Forget to Talk About Your Business or Brand
Remember that the main reason you are there is to build a network, so you are expected to forge a possible professional relationship between businesses. This means that you must always represent your brand well and make sure that they see your company in the best light possible.
Ask About Their Field
If it happens that the person you’re talking to is from a different industry, ask them about it, and get to know that field. Don’t forget to exchange business cards as well. You’ll never know when you’re going to need somebody from their field, and it’s so much easier if you’ve already made an acquaintance, or better yet, build a friendship with a professional in that industry.
A small or mid-sized business thrives in a community where they find support from people who share the same goal of growing their businesses. Just like how you built friendships and had study groups to perform better in school, you must build a professional network so that you can also contribute to the group and everyone will benefit!
If you are looking for a local community where you’ll find support and where you can get and give referrals, build alliances, and be empowered to grow your business, join NRG Networking. We are Australia’s best networking community that offers endless opportunities. Join us and meet potential clients, partners, and lifelong friends!