Walking around in a conference room at a hotel, talking to strangers, and wearing a “Hello my name is” isn’t the most enjoyable thing to do. Most people actually dread networking, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Here are some tips to become better at networking.
It is a lifelong practice. You meet people throughout your life, use that to your advantage. You don’t necessarily have to go to a networking conference to find the people you need. If you are in the car dealership business, be around those who are in the same field. Stay in contact with those you come across who stand out and strive for success. You come across a lot of people by simply living life, use that as a networking opportunity.
Be honest. If you are at a networking conference, don’t say you will stay in contact when you know you won’t. Simply say it was nice talking to you, or something along those lines. Don’t make promises to new business connections you can’t keep. You may get excited in the moment and want to impress the person, but how impressive is it when you don’t follow through. Don’t exaggerate your business’s capabilities, you will set exaggerated expectations from your connections.
Meet your friend’s friends. If you are in business it is likely you have friends or colleagues that are also in business. Try to meet your friend’s friends who are also in business. This will broaden your business connections. If you and your friend are going to lunch ask your friend to invite along his friend. This is a more comfortable way of networking than putting yourself among strangers in a windowless room.
Now networking shouldn’t be as painful. Remember networking is a lifelong process, be honest, and meet your friend’s friends. This should improve your networking and broaden your business connections.