When networking is involved – whether at a conference or a local convention – it isn’t just the first impression that is important, it is an overall and latest impression. You’re attending these events to meet potential contacts that could be beneficial to your business, and they’re ideal for finding and building new business-relationships. However, at these sorts of events you’re usually accompanied by dozens up dozens of others, meaning you have to ensure that you come across as memorable. Your dazzling personality can of course win many business-hearts, but to go that extra mile you have to work the room in a way that ensures that you stick in people’s minds hours after they’ve met you. Try these tips.
Be Unique And Share It
Everyone will have a job title, a plan, a mission and everyone will be willing to share it. When introducing yourself, go that little bit extra than others – as well as your business story, share something about you that makes you unique and intrigues people. It could be that as well as running your own business, you run marathons regularly. You might share that you have three great kids. It doesn’t have to be a life story; a unique one liner that shares your work and a little bit about what you do outside of work will get people talking and instantly make you memorable. You can also be unforgettable for another reason – wear a tie with ducks on it, for example. Anything that makes you stand out in one small way, works.
Enhance The Small Talk
Small talk is good; it gets conversations flowing and can lead to a few ice-breakers, but more often than not small talk is not used as much as it should be. If someone asks you where you come from, don’t just say ‘This little town in New Jersey’, tell them something that makes your town great. Maybe it’s famous for something, has great local beer, or was featured in a movie many moons ago. Doing this immediately leads into additional questions and conversations that can take some interesting paths. These sorts of tricks can make a conversation really interesting, and what you talked about with this person will stick in their mind and could open doors.
Make Someone Feel Great
We’ve all met that one person – the picture of positivity who is remembered for being engaging and really interested in YOU as a person. If you want to be memorable at a networking event, this is a golden rule. People love to be complimented and to feel wanted and interesting, so use this to your advantage. Maintain eye contact throughout, listen intently, and ask sincere questions about the person you’re chatting to. Then ask some follow up questions, and compliment them on their story. Smile, laugh and tell them genuinely how much you enjoyed meeting them. Ask questions about a topic they’re discussing you really don’t know anything about. The person you’re engaging with will remember you much more. If when you leave they think ‘I enjoyed their company’, you’ve succeeded. Well done.
Ask Relevant Questions & Do Your Research
If the networking event you’re at involves large groups and discussions, don’t just focus on one person at a time – involve the whole group. Asking questions to everyone such as what new marketing techniques they’re using and what industry trends they’re seeing will evoke group discussions and allow people to provide their expertise to the group. This allows people to feel very welcome and will allow you to be seen as group-orientated and certainly memorable. Do your research prior to the event to see who will be attending too; knowing who will be there and what their fields and expertise are, will allow you to plan questions in advance and tailor some of your content towards them.
Make It A Meaningful Goodbye
A goodbye isn’t necessarily a farewell at a networking event, particularly if you want to engage in that persons company further for a potential business endeavour. Don’t just leave it as ‘Good to meet you’, tell them how good it was to meet them and specifically reference something they discussed during your conversation. It could be wishing them luck, or it could be ‘I’d love to chat more about XYZ, if you’d be interested’? Don’t seal the goodbye, leave it open for possibilities if you want them to happen. By having a notable and personal goodbye, they’ll remember you as soon as your email to them drops in to their inbox days later.