If you are an experienced networker, you won’t probably need me to remind you to contact the event organiser in advance to be ready for the event and know who is attending. Be ready and get close to the event organiser are key when we talk about networking.
Assuming that you have chosen the right event and you are starting in the world of networking. I would recommend starting step by step and get confidence in your skill. Networking is not rocket science, and as almost everything in live, we can master it if we put some effort in it.
The first thing to work the room correctly is to arrive to the event early. This will give you a better chance to talk with the event organiser team and get further information about who you should meet and get some background about them.
As you are one of the few people in the room, it will be very easy to start a conversation as everyone is almost by their own and they will be pleased to start a conversation with you. This is an easy way to warm-up and get some confidence in your skill.
Once the crowd is increasing, it will be key to know who are the people that you need to meet as per your conversation with the event organiser or by simple asking other attendees. This is a very good way to build rapport, explaining your business and asking the person for some advice about who they think you should meet in the group and get an introduction. At least you will get invaluable information that it will help you to introduce yourself to this person and tell your references.
If the situation is that you are new in networking, you don’t know the event organiser or they are too busy at the moment to help you out and, the room is packed, this would be the worst case scenario, I would recommend starting talking with the person who looks more familiar/friendly to you, or a person with whom you feel very confident to approach as you may think you are much older, senior or just because you are taller J This works very well because when we think that we will have a good time talking with this person, the chances are that we will actually have a great time. When we approach someone who we need to know with the mindset that this person will not probably be interested in what we want to say, the chances are that he/she won’t be interested.
We attract what we think, so think positive and approach the ones with whom you feel more positive to start speaking with.
Don’t try to sell. Networking is about giving. Don’t expect the person gives you back the favour; it will come back from a total stranger! Instead of selling your services, say who you are and what you do to set a framework and be curious about the other person. The more curious you become and the more natural you are, the better response from the other person.
People love to talk about themselves, let them talk! Build rapport and then ask for their help so they will be more likely to offer some support.