Of course we’re going to talk about work when we’re representing our business/organisation at a networking event. However, please remember that talking solely about work isn’t the best way to build work relationships
Any networking organisation/format that’s been running for years will be effective for most of its attendees, otherwise why would they attend?? And networking events give us the chance to develop relationships, so it’s wrong to say that an event/format doesn’t work. However, it may not work best for you compared to other options
Whenever we network we’re trying to do one thing only – develop relationships. And this doesn’t mean only starting new relationships, it also means developing existing relationships. In other words, increasing both the quantity and the quality of our relationships. After all, how can relationships develop if we have one conversation with someone but never a second conversation?
Like any other sales, business development or marketing activity, our networking is most effective when it’s done regularly. A little, regularly, works well. Bingeing, then nothing for weeks or months doesn’t. But how often is ‘regular’?
Drop any notion you might have that every networking delegate you meet is listening properly to what you have to say! Some aren’t. They could be nervous, thinking about what they’re going to say next or maybe they’re just not a very good listener!
Little did we realise on March 3rd 2020 that we wouldn’t be running a networking event again for another 18 months! However, at long, long last we’re delighted to see in-person networking events getting confirmed again. Small businesses need networking events to build relationships and new business opportunities
As we get close to heading back to some real world networking events at last – or perhaps attending networking events for the first time – it’s a good time to remind ourselves of what networking actually is. And there’s good news – it’s still just chatting!
Watching others doing something well is of course a great way to learn – and keep learning. We all do it in lots of different areas such as the sports we play, so why not with a business (and life) skill like networking?
If we very quickly go into talking only about ourselves and our businesses, we’ve missed out the part that comes first – developing rapport. It’s not a sales pitch, it’s a conversation. And conversations are like tennis, they go backwards and forwards
If you’ve tried a few networking events and you just don’t like it, don’t worry, no-one likes everything! And being out there having to speak with different people about different things simply isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But if you’re in a position where you have to network as part of your job/business, what can you do?