You never know who you’ll connect with, so make sure you utilize a network to the extent you can. Here is a simple plan to make connections and unlock new opportunities.
1. Identify your goals before entering a networking effort
Before you set your foot in the door, you should have already done some of your homework. Answer the questions of what you are looking to get out of it, who you want to talk to, and if there are any prospects for leads.
2. Leave your sales pitch at home
Remember that you aren’t there to sell. Avoid rambling off the reasons why your product or service is the best. Instead, ask everyone whom you speak with if there is anything you can do to help their business. This unselfish approach will leave an impression that guarantees they will answer your phone call or email after the conference.
3. Don’t sound like a robot. Let your personality shine
Establishing a half dozen meaningful connections is better than collecting 50 business cards from people you will more than likely never speak to again. Engage in conversations and make sure that you leave a good, lasting impression.
4. Be seen and heard, but don’t take over
Nobody will remember you if you aren’t memorable. Make sure you ask questions and make intelligent interactions with others. People will then look forward to reconnecting with you.
5. Work the crowd with someone who will compliment your weaknesses
It’s always easier to work with a person that will give you a little extra confidence, especially if they are good at opening things up when you tend to be more reserved. Pair up with someone you work well with and who will cover up any of your shortcomings.
Source: Entrepreneur by Jonathan Long