Successful networking is about developing strong interpersonal skills, increasing your brand awareness and discovering hidden possibilities others have to offer. It can help you build your sphere of influence and create valuable connections for you to tap into. We all know well-developed in-person relationships keep on giving in more ways than one.
Successful networking is a combination of confidence and preparation. Knowing how to network is a key skill in today's business world. Let's bring your networking skills to the next level!
Here are 5 Have's for Killer Networking to Grow Your Business:
Have an open and confident body language for the memorable first impression.
You have about 7 seconds to make a first impression. You want to come across as a confident business professional - a mover and shaker. The confident body language can help you accomplish just that.
Open torso with uncrossed arms
Head and chest up
Shoulders pulled back
Expand your body to take up space
Mirroring other's body language
Smile at people walking by
Always offer to shake hands - this leads us nicely to the next networking technique.
Have a firm and welcoming handshake.
A handshake is an act of confidence and respect when meeting another professional - approach it as such. Make it firm, warm and authoritative. I think the handshake is a secret strategic weapon and I've even written an entire blog post about it.
Have intriguing conversation openers at the ready.
Don't start your line of questioning with 'What do you do?" It's tired and old. You want to be memorable. Here are a few suggestions for killer conversation starters:
What is your favorite blog or podcast?
What are you passionate about?
What are your hobbies?
Have your mindset set to the giver mentality.
Think how you can help other people, not how they can help you. The giver mentality results in authenticity and confidence. When we are in the taker mentality, we are in the scarcity mode and come across as needy. When we are in the giver mentality, we are in the abundance mode and we are at ease and a magnet for people. Being a giver helps you make meaningful business and personal connections.
Have a well-developed elevator pitch.
Prepare your elevator pitch beforehand. Tailor it to the networking even you're attending. Stick to 1 to 3 sentences describing what you're all about - make it interesting by injecting a few interesting personal tidbits that can lead to a more in-depth discussion.
An elevator speech is the easiest way to share who you are, what you do, and why you want to get to know another person in a quick efficient manner. When combined with a positive first impression and a confident handshake this can lead to building valuable connections.
Practice displaying a confident body language. Practice making a positive first impression. Practice your handshake. Practice and play around with your conversation starters. Practice tailoring your elevator speech to various audiences. Practice makes it more natural and second nature.
To your networking success!