You walk through the door alone. You check in at the entrance, make a beeline for the bar and order a cold beer to cool down your sweaty palms. You nervously wait for proceedings to begin and run through all the clever things you thought of, in the car, to come across as charming, engaging and intelligent.
No I’m not talking about speed dating. This is how so many of us feel when we arrive at our first Networking event.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Especially if we remember just a few basic practices:
Don’t be a wall flower.
A wallflower is defined as: a shy or excluded person at a dance or party, especially a girl without a partner.
This is the most common mistake guys make. They go to the bar and hang out there waiting to be approached or brought into a Conversation. This is never going to allow you to establish any connections, and that is what we are really after, building lasting relationships that are going to take us closer to our goals.
Think of what you can offer.
Have you ever tried to have a conversation with someone who only wants to talk about themselves? They somehow manage to bring every subject, every topic even every sentence back to them. Not only does this promote instant eye rolling, it completely disengages the other person.
The best thing to do is to engage in active listening.
Active listening is a communication technique used in counselling, training, and conflict resolution. It requires that the listener fully concentrate, understand, respond and then remember what is being said.
This is the greatest way to make a good first impression, and any subsequent impressions for that matter. People will always remember the guy who actually listened to them.
Find your People.
Finding the right event is so important. It makes building connections and relationships so much easier when you have a common interest. It’s a perfect point of discussion to start with, as you know you are there with similar goals.
The single biggest reason gents join Apex is to meet and interact with like-minded individuals. They all have self-development as a common interest. As a result the ice is already broken. You know when you enter the room you are accompanied by a bunch of guys looking to reach their Apex.
Quality over Quantity.
This goes for the amount of events you go to as well as the interactions you have at them.
These are the people who get you and you can add the most value to, and visa versa. This goes back to the previous point of finding your people. When you do find your tribe, i.e. the right event, don’t bounce from conversation to conversation. Actively listen, give everything you can and get everything you can from it. There’s nothing worse than trying to have a conversation with someone who is clearly trying to get out of the interaction, it’s actually just plain rude!
Be a connector.
When you become comfortable, and have been to a few events, you should start connecting people. Through active listening you can discover people’s interests, hobbies, jobs etc. When you talk to someone with similar interests you can introduce them to each other. Remember when you were a wallflower, how great would it have been for a person to introduce you to someone with a common interest or background?
By connecting people you will also become a known face at the events and people will be approaching you to start conversations.
Networking doesn’t have to be a stuffy boring event. It doesn’t have to be a palm sweating experience either. If you follow these basic principles you’ll be building connections, making mates and closing deals with the best of them in no time.
The post Five Networking Basics to get the most out of the Event. appeared first on BetterMan.