For many people, family is the primary social circle they’ll be seeing over the holidays, but if you’re in a business that requires you to press palms in order to drum up new customers or supporters, the holidays are also a prime networking season.
If you’re like most people, this is your least favorite part of your business. But it’s a necessary evil, and if you want to do it less, you have to learn to do it better. Here’re 7 tips to help you make the most out of your networking functions this season.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but we have to stress it, because we know that in the hour or even half hour before the function, your brain is coming up with all kinds of reasons why you shouldn’t come. You might tell yourself that since you already bought your ticket, you did your part to help the organization. Or you might say that you don’t expect any good connections to be there. Or maybe you just don’t feel like it.
But whatever you tell yourself, you need to make an appearance if you want to make connections. And you’ll never know when a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is going to come along. You can only make sure that you’re there when it does come along.
There’s always a temptation to take advantage of our culture’s continuing slide towards casual attire at any and all functions, but if you want to be taken seriously, you have to dress seriously. Find out the formality of the function and dress toward the upper end: you don’t want to be too formal, but you want to wear clothes that give off a professional appearance.
Besides, this can actually help. Although dressing up seems like a hassle at first, once you’re at the function, it will help you feel more confident.
And speaking of confidence, nothing conveys confidence like a nice big smile. It’s also a great tool for all your interactions. It can defuse tension, welcome people to speak with you, and encourages them to open up to you.
The only problem is that many people don’t feel comfortable or confident about their smile. But this doesn’t have to be a permanent obstacle. Cosmetic dentistry can help ensure you have a smile you will be happy to share, no matter the occasion.
One of the paralyzing things about networking is just knowing where to begin. It can be so hard to figure out how to start talking to a stranger so that it feels comfortable, natural, and lays a good foundation for future interactions, be they personal or productive. So don’t leave this up to chance. Figure out a few good starters and keep them in your pocket (metaphorically, not literally have them written down).
Can’t come up with anything? There are a few good places to look for recommendations.
The key part of any networking conversation is when you are asked about your business. This can be a lead-in to numerous connections, either directly if you’re talking to someone who needs your services or indirectly if they know people who might need your services. But to make a good impression, you need to have a good, concise statement of your brand. You need to convey not only what you do, but what separates you from other people in your line of work. It needs to be compelling, but it can’t be boastful. Make sure you have a good answer before you leave home.
The impression you make on people is made up of the things you say, but also of the way you listen. Listen to what people say, ask questions, and be engaged in listening. This can help you sustain a conversation, and it helps other people feel that they might like to work with you, if they get the chance.
It’s tempting to look at the stack of business cards or the new contacts in your phone as being an achievement on their own, but that’s just the start. To really be successful at networking, you need to follow up with the contacts you made. This can be daunting, too, but make the calls or send the emails. Always remember to mention the event where you made the contact.
If you find that you have all the networking skills you need, but you’re lacking a vital piece of equipment: a smile you can feel confident showing, then we can help by designing a custom smile makeover in Spokane or Spokane Valley. Please call 509-368-7788 [Spokane] or 509-228-3998 [Spokane Valley] for an appointment with a cosmetic dentist at Collins Dentistry & Aesthetics today.
Or office in Spokane is located at:
3151 E. 28th Ave.
Spokane, WA 99223
Office phone # 509-368-7788