Even if you are shy or nervous, keep your poise and have a confident attitude as you walk into any meeting or conference. This will attract others. As you do so, you need to be prepared to carry on an intelligent discussion.
Study what is going to be discussed during the meeting. When people understand that you are serious about participating in the discussions in a meaningful and useful way, they will respect you and seek you out.
Do Not Dismiss Small Talk
Small talk is a vital part of business communications. By making small talk, you will make other people feel comfortable in your presence, and also slowly build up a level of trust with them.
You can start your sales ‘pitch’ after you have come to know something about the likes and dislikes of the other person. Serious discussions and negotiations will eventually be conducted, but small talk has its place in interactions between business people.
Observe the Other Person
When you are talking with other people, observe their reactions and their body language. You might find that a particular person is more interested in hearing details about you and your small business. You can then focus on that person, since you will have already captured their interest.
This strategy will save you from wasting time on people who are not interested in your company or your products. Limit the amount of time you spend trying to convince someone, before you move on to the next group or person.
Wasting your time on someone who is clearly not interested in what you have to offer will only leave you with less time to converse with others.
Keep Your Business Card Ready
You should not give your business card to each and every person, but you should give it to anyone who displays even the slightest potential of becoming a customer.
Follow-Up Is Important, Too
Call, email, or fax the people you’ve had a good interaction with during your meeting. This will indicate to the other person that you enjoyed meeting him or her, and that you are now interested in conducting serious business.
Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained
Do not be afraid of what the other person might think about you. You can expect to have a few misses before you find an approach that works. Until then, keep on trying and attend as many networking events as you possibly can so that you can meet a wide variety of people. A few setbacks should not stop you from meeting new and interesting people that can help advance your business goals.
Use the above tips to better networking, and you will turn into a networking specialist in no time. In addition to getting increased business, you might also make some new friends - and it is this combination that makes networking fun and profitable.