Working The Room

At Avanti we can’t shout loud enough about the importance of networking to help your business flourish.

Making connections in your local business communities will help you spread your message and market your business to people that you never thought it possible to connect with – “it’s not what you know, but who you know that counts”

Often attendees find that while networking is a proven formula for business growth and success, they admit feeling anxious about attending a networking event, with 51% of a those surveyed in a ComRes poll admitting that they feel uncomfortable while networking.

So how do you work the room, effectively?

• Avoid the hard sell

Instead of giving the hard sell to people that you have only just met, spend some time getting to know them, tell them something interesting about you- leave them wanting to know more. You are more likely to stand out from the crowd if you present yourself as an interested party and not just a salesperson.

• Two ears, one mouth

When having a conversation, ‘listen’ to the other person. Be genuinely interested. Find something in common that they say, that will make the connection between you both more memorable.
But do use your mouth as well – remember to smile! A smiling face and open body language will make the conversation easier.

• Don’t let conversation become stagnant

Starting conversation can be surprisingly easy, but how do you recognise when it is time to move on? Networking is about making connections but you don’t need to have lengthy interactions for these connections to build. Instead initiate conversation, tell them a little about you, respond to questions, ask a question, listen to the response- move on! So how do you move on without being perceived as a ‘serial networker’ – it’s how you go about your networking that defines you. All you have to do is POLITELY and SINCERELY excuse yourself – “It’s been great to meet you, here’s my card, let’s get a 1-2-1 booked in, I better go and meet some other people before the meeting closes” By doing this, you are wrapping it up, initiating further contact, and moving on- make sure you do follow up for that 1-2-1!

• Connect others

Another easy strategy for working the room is to connect other attendees. If you know a florist at the event and a hotelier, take the time to connect them both. They will remember you for connecting them and be thankful for the introduction- you barely had to say a word to leave your mark on two attendees, yet you have helped them both make valuable connections.

Don’t forget to follow up on your connections made. If you fail to make contact after the event, your time and energy has been wasted – worse still, you now seem unreliable to the people you met. When you make contact, remember something about them or your conversation with them, so they can see that you truly  were listening and taking an interest.

For help making valuable genuine connections in your local business community give Avanti a call 01473 558866 email Emma-Louise