When you’re responsible for increasing revenues, one way to grow your market is to increase your customer base. That’s a no-brainer, right?
Increasing your customer base can be achieved in many ways and attending networking events to make new connections is very effective.
But, if you’re like most people, going to networking events isn’t one of your favorite activities.
Most people don’t like networking events because they don’t want to seem too eager, say the wrong thing, or worst of all appear unprofessional.
After you’ve prepared for the event, here are some tips to practice while you’re at your event to come across professional and convey confidence.
Arrive on Time
Professional networking events are not the time to be fashionably late.
It’s harder to get comfortable and in the right frame of mind if you’re frazzled because you were running late.
Plan to arrive at least 15-minutes before the event starts. You can use those extra minutes to get your “networking cap” on. Now is also a great time to review your questions and plan of key people you would like to meet.
Your Name Tag
Most events will provide you with a “Hi, I’m…” name tag. Ever get confused as to which side to put it on? Put it on your right side.
The idea behind placing it on your right side is that when you shake hands, it will be in view to the other person. It will also provide them a visual of your name after you have introduced yourself.
Act Like the Host
This might seem a little odd when it is not your “party”. Consider this, when you throw a party you are responsible for making sure everyone has a good time, right? In that role, don’t you put on your “charisma hat”? Don’t you feel in control of things?
This same behavior should be taken at networking events. Take on the role of being the host to those you’re speaking with and make them feel relaxed and comfortable. A little secret, you’ll also come across as confident. 😉
Your Business Card
Most people don’t think of their business card as a form of communication – it’s a piece of paper after all. But, the way you present your card says something about you and your professional etiquette.
When you hand someone your business card, always hand it with the text facing the person. It will prompt the individual to at least glance at it and help them to put your face with your card. This is great for when you do your follow up.
No Cold, Moist Hands
Most likely you’ll be drinking a cold beverage. And, most likely you’ll be carrying it in your right-hand. If you go to shake someone’s hand, guess what that’s going to feel like – cold and moist. Not good.
For those times you’re drinking a cold beverage, hold the glass in your left-hand. You’ll leave a great impression and not a cold and moist one.
Even more, you’ll convey charisma, confidence and competence. Who wouldn’t want to connect and do business with someone like that?