From time to time it might be useful for you (imperative for you) to attend functions for the sole purpose of Networking. We tell our clients to go to other peoples shows both to support whomever is performing and for one other very important reason. To get the word out about themselves.
Sometimes they don’t understand, or have trouble making progress. So for the next week we are going to help both them and you, our loyal readers. These same ideas can be handy in any form of networking from casual introductions to specific networking events, (which you should also go to). Look at it like courting, it’s applicable for that too.
A common thing we hear from clients is this, “I have a bunch of business cards, and I can’t remember a thing about any of them.” This is a problem for you. If everyone came away from interacting with you not able to remember your name and what it is you do, you just wasted your valuable time. You want to be remembered there are some things you can do to help you in that regard. Let’s go through some basic ones.
Stand out, not in some crazy serial killer kind of way but in a way people will notice. You will need to stand out from the crowd. If you just performed and are working the crowd this won’t be a problem, but if you are at another event, you might want to do something to set yourself apart. That means not blending into the background of the event, use your own judgment. If it’s for a business something brightly colored will work, most business people wear drab colors so wearing a bright shirt or tie will help you when the person try’s to remember “Oh ya the guy in the bright yellow tie.” You don’t want to be over the top or no one will take you seriously. You do want to stand out in the crowd it can be a fine line to walk.
You personally need to be completely invested in what you are doing. Have conversations and use your skills to make an impression. Listen well, ask questions, be engaged with the people you speak with. If you have been following along you know all about TAC. (The Art of Conversation). Utilize it to your benefit. Most of all be open and available to others, be there mentally and fully engaged with everyone you are speaking to. Ask real questions of people. Tailor them to the people you are speaking with of course you should always go with simple things like “How did you become interested in ‘X’.” You don’t want to be a drone and keep asking the same questions of different people though so it is important that you really and truly paying attention to the people who you are choosing to interact with. They will remember you for this. Quite a few people who go to network think that simply showing up is enough. It’s not, be mindful of what your saying and who you are saying it to.
If you are going to a get together specifically meant for networking a “Networking Function” you need to do things a tad bit differently. Most people will not be able to remember long drawn-out descriptions of what it is that you do. Pare it down to the core of what you have to offer. Some things you must manage to get across are, your name, your company, what you do/who you help, what you offer and where you are located. This doesn’t mean just spouting all of this out. The trick is to fit these things into the conversations you have in a way that makes sense. Let the conversations flow but steer them a bit so that you can get the most out of it.
Remember that you are your business, and it is you personally. You are all that stand between you and obscurity, do your best and focus. People will remember you if you put in the effort.