Do you make the most out of networking events?
Or do you usually leave with a bit of regret, wishing you’d talk to more new people and made more valuable connections?
With the right approach, that doesn’t have to happen anymore. You can connect with more people and make the most out of the networking events that you go to.
In doing so, you can improve your chances of connecting with potential customers, rockstar employees, and more.
Today, we’ll give you some actionable strategies to make the most out of your networking events…
Use This Question Structure
Do you ever get stuck in small talk? That’s the fastest way to a boring conversation that ruins any potential connection.
The problem is you get stuck on trivial topics that don’t help you learn anything about your conversation counterpart.
Instead, use the following question structure:
Start by asking short-answer questions that require only a one or two-word response (i.e. What do you do? Where are you from?). Then, build on those with open-ended questions that require a longer response (i.e. What made you get into that? What was it like growing up there?)
These questions will help you cut through the noise and get to know people quickly.
Aim to Add Value
Some people just have the vibe of “I want something from you.” They’re out to get something in every interaction they have, and their conversation counterparts can feel it. It’s not very conducive to connecting.
So, instead of looking to “get something” from all your conversations, aim to provide some sort of value. Perhaps you can help or advise in some area that’s challenging them.
At the very least, you can add value by allowing them to talk more about themselves, which has been scientifically proven to make people feel great.
Research the Attendees
If possible, research the big name attendees beforehand. Have some questions prepared, as well as a way to start the conversation.
Have at least 2-3 people who you really want to meet and do your research. A simple LinkedIn search should do the trick. This can provide you with good conversation points that go a long way in helping you connect with them.
Have Your “30 Second Pitch” Ready
Have you ever asked someone what they do, only to have them fumble through a complicated explanation for a minute or two? It bores you and also makes them look bad.
And so, you definitely don’t want to fall into that trap yourself. Instead, have you “30-second pitch” ready to explain what you do and the type of people you help with your business. Rehearse it a few times as well.
Just by having your pitch ready, you’ll be more confident approaching people, and you’ll also be able to make a much better first impression.
Go At It Alone
If you’ve ever gone to a networking event with a friend, you probably know how it turns out. You end up talking to your friend almost the whole time, and only occasionally going up and approaching new people.
After all, you know your friend, and it’s a lot more comfortable to just talk to them instead of approaching new people.
So, it’s better to go at it alone. When you go solo to networking events, you’re forced to meet new people. Either that or stand in the corner alone! It puts the pressure on you to take action, and that’s a good thing.
Just one great connection at a networking event has the potential to change the future of your business. So, don’t let the next opportunity pass.
Use the strategies listed here to better connect with people at your next networking events!
What other things do you do to connect with people at networking events? Let us know in the comments below!