Networking skills are invaluable to have and need to be refined no matter what stage of life you’re in. It can help you land a job or client, build up a strong network and give you recognition among your peers. For most, even the word ‘networking’ evokes feelings of fear, insecurity and may even make them want to run for the hills.
While it may seem intimidating, taking advantage of developing professionally to make sure you don’t lose out on any opportunities on growing your business.
Give your confidence a boost and brush up on your networking skills with these 4 tips.
Check your feelings in the car.
Did you have a bad day? If so, before you get out of your car to head into the networking even repeat positive affirmations to yourself. People can sense negative energy and will not be drawn to talk to you. Make sure you feel good and look put together because your inner attitude will shine through!
Be an active listener.
Listening seems like a basic skill but is essential for good networking. Everyone likes to feel that they are being listened to and can definitely sense if someone is not truly listening. Ask questions in between to show that you are engaged, make eye contact and really really listen—don’t start thinking about what you’re going to say next.
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Know how to start a conversation—and end it.
Keep a few conversation starters in your back pocket to power up your networking skills. Avoid saying the old go-to “What do you do?” since it doesn’t really open up a conversation. Try something like “What connected you to this event?” or “How did you get into your line of work?” to get the conversation going. Here are a few tips to help you master the art of ending those conversations to avoid the awkward long goodbye.
Don’t try to be the life of the party.
It’s all too easy to fall into rambling on about yourself and spouting off all of the things you do while networking. You don’t want to be that person. It’s important to come up with your personal elevator pitch that is short and concise. Leave people with a taste of your story that will leave them wanting more. This way, they will be more inclined to email or call to find out more!
One of the most effective ways you can grow your business is to brush up on your networking skills. Use these tips to transform yours to establish strong, lasting business relationships.