What Dressing up as Christmas Tree to a Networking Event Taught Me.
Points mean prizes, and this was exactly what I was aiming for when I attended this year’s Juice FM Business Breakfast. It was required for everyone to dress up in Christmas Fancy Dress, and there would be a selection of prizes for the best in show. You can picture my horror when I was the only attendee to comply with the dress code… and arrived dressed head to toe as a Christmas Tree. Although horrifying, I did take away some pointers on how to succeed in Business Networking!
Lanyard on, coffee poured, it’s time to tackle the sea of suits; but where to start? Approaching a group of unfamiliar faces is a daunting thought for many people; especially if you are new to the networking game. Although you might not always be able to attend in costume, keeping an eye on your body language and how others might perceive you, will help you avoid sending out any hostile signals.
Break Down Barriers…
The dreaded conversational ice breakers! It is said that people do business with people they know. The hilarity of my outfit was a ground for turning a cold sales pitch, into a warm budding business relationship.
Ensure you are equipped with tools in your networking arsenal- whether it’s an interesting anecdote or an inspiring success story! These will aid you to fruitful quality interactions; opposed to rounds of introducing yourself to various attendees.
Memorability is Key…
The challenge that is networking is all for nothing if no-one can remember you once they go back to their desks! Business cards get lost in pockets, names get forgotten about on the drive home and good intentions of trading services diminish…you want those key people to ensure they are keeping you on their radar!
The Follow Up
You’ve met some exciting people at your networking event, and are eager to see how you can do business with these professionals. A few days go by, but no emails or phone calls have been exchanged. If there are particular people of interest at the event, set a timeline of when to expect future contact… or there is always the LinkedIn follow request!