I remember attending an event when one of the panelists described networking as a negative term. Networking is saddled with a poor reputation because it is associated with uncomfortable small-talk with strangers, peddlers attempting to sell you things you don’t want, and the pointless exchanging of business cards with individuals you’ll never see again. Here’s some tips to help you get over the awkwardness and connect with people:
Curiosity takes you out of worry and into wonder. It’s easier to get out of your head and connect with other people when you’re interested in others. And it makes the process go more smoothly if you motivate people’s curiosity strategically. In order to spark people’s curiosity in you, try to stand out. For example, you could wear more brightly coloured clothes or try a unique style to get people to notice you.
Always Ask Questions
You’ve undoubtedly had a number of dead-end conversations if you’ve done any amount of networking. If someone isn’t chatty, you might receive a four-word reply (“I’m a financial planner”), putting you back at square one in attempting to start a discussion. It’s important to note that not all questions are made equal, and this is where a little forethought may go a long way. These are three questions to get you started:
- What persuaded you to come to this event?
- What new hobbies did you pick up during the epidemic?
- What is your favorite part about your job?
Remember to Listen
There’s a misconception that you have to say the perfect thing or make the ideal pitch in order to be a successful networker. This isn’t correct at all. The pleasure of networking is that you don’t have to do all the talking. You should pay attention after asking a question. We get trapped in our heads thinking about what we’ll say and overlook important details that would bring us close.
Control Your Mindset
Whether you find networking interesting, repulsive, or both is a matter of perspective. You may spend your time dreading the discomfort of being shunned, or you can embrace it as part of the adventure. When I used to be a manager, I feared going to live events because I had no idea how to connect with others and didn’t have a strategy for beginning conversations.
I’ve discovered that having a different mindset transforms everything. If you show up to events with the goal of meeting interesting people, you will certainly meet them. Someday, those intriguing individuals may refer clients, buy your services, or suggest you for future employment.
Stories are the most effective method to connect and discover common ground. The human brain is built to remember tales. But you must make certain that you’re telling the proper tale. You don’t have to explain your whole existence history, and you don’t need to limit your narratives to work.
Unfortunately, not all events have effective conversation starters on the name tags (although I feel they should) or competent facilitators who can generate such a connection in Zoom. You may transform networking from unpleasant to pleasant with a little preparation, practice, and interest.
Join 4BG Networking
4BG Networking, an initiative of 4 Business Group, is built out of the recognition that networking is about building long-term relationships and a good reputation for your company in the Brisbane business community. We look to foster a community that links people who can assist one another, build trust and support, refer to new business, and ultimately grow using our extensive pre-existing business database using business networking best practices. to our networking hub for free to access thousands of professionals from a wide range of industries.