Summer parties make great networking opportunities. Relaxed and festive, they’re ideal for stepping forward and shining.
Identify people you’d like to meet. Find out about them in advance. Use this information to break the ice and make authentic connections. Don’t whip out your product, sales pitch or brochure. Create bonds and build trust, paving the way for solid relationships.
You can destroy your career or give it a boost. Here’s how to get noticed for the right reasons:
The approach. Get up and mingle! Smile and shake hands firmly. This demonstrates you are comfortable interacting with others. Find a common bond. If the person serves on the board of directors of a not-for-profit organization, express your interest in the organization—and perhaps in volunteering.
Be prepared. Focus on the other person, rather than on yourself. Don’t come on too strong, but prepare a two-minute pitch about yourself and your business, just in case you are asked.
Meet the movers and shakers. Choose successful decision makers, those who make things happen—and from whom you can learn.
Find a way to help. Be perceived as a resource. Act as a networking referral or information source. It’s easier to ask for help from people who already appreciate your help.
Dress for success. Dress to represent who you are in your business. Avoid wild or revealing attire. You will do your best networking when you feel well-dressed.
Follow Up. Smart networking means following up to maintain new connections. Gather others’ business cards rather than handing yours out. Make notes on the back and send emails to further connect with them within a day or two.
Alcohol. It can mean ruin. Stick with sparkling water or one drink only. Reputations and careers can implode “under the influence.”
Make meaningful connections this summer to further your business goals!