Meet and greet with strangers: Don't worry. They're all in the same situation. It's a lot easier than it looks.
If networking and mixer parties are intimidating to you because you feel like you don’t know anyone or you’re new to the business or maybe even just shy, let me share some tips and ideas with you that will help you connect with people and be at ease doing it.
Whether networking at a local Chamber of Commerce party, a lead generation group or an industry networking event at a show, networking is the most effective way to market your business and increase sales. It is a “must do” to achieve success. On Sunday, I will be hosting “B4 Business -- A Structured Networking Event” at LCT East. I want you to comfortable and confident.
Tip #1: Arrive With A Plan
For example, commit to meet and exchange phone numbers and business cards with at least three people or tell yourself that you will chat with five people for at least two minutes. Have three to five questions ready to ask someone you meet. Have at least five things you can ask someone you meet such as, what city do you serve? Or how long have you been in the industry?
Tip #2: Arrive Early
Walking into a room full of people already talking can be very intimidating to even the most seasoned networking veteran. If this causes you anxiety, arrive early to the event so there are only a handful of people in the room. Introduce yourself in the small setting and stick with new friends who can introduce you to their other friends when they arrive. Or arrive early and introduce yourself to the host or presenter before anyone else arrives and let him know that you are new and/or nervous and they will take you under their wing.
Tip #3: Check-In When You Arrive
One of the easiest places to meet people is standing in a common line. Whether that is a restroom line, badge check-in, food service line or admission line, ask the person ahead of you or behind you if this is their first show. It’s an ice breaker between two people stuck in a line.
Tip #4: Take A Break
Once you have accomplished meeting a new person, take a break and write down information about the person you met and make a plan to follow up with them when you get home. Write down anything you will want to remember for your follow up call, letter or email.
Tip #5: Follow-Up
There is no point in meeting people if you don’t follow-up with some type of email or phone call. Remind them of who you are, where you met, what you discussed and how you might work together in the future. The sooner you do this, the better.
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