10th February 2017
Richard Bull, General Manager at Woburn House, shares his top tips on how to become a networking pro.
Networking is fun! Like it or not, networking is an essential part of business, with 95% of people agreeing face-to-face meetings are essential to form long term business relationships. So, here are my top tips on how to boss any networking event you attend.
Dress to impress
In a sea of black and navy suits and skirts, wear something colourful; a red blazer, a statement piece of jewellery, even a fun tie. Not only will this help you stand out from the crowd but it will also make you more approachable as it will give others an instant talking point with which to approach and remember you.
Be the person everyone wants to talk to
You know when you meet that person at a networking event who makes you feel at ease, who is interested in you, who you tell other people about because you think they’re so great? You can be that person! Smile, make eye contact, listen and respond with thoughtful answers. This is not a difficult task, but often in a stressful situation we freeze up and don’t act like ourselves.
Do something different
The people you meet will have met many people before you and will meet many more after, so make yourself stand out. Why not invest £10 on a Starbucks gift card; get people to enter a competition by giving you their business card and pick a winner at random at the end. This is a no- brainer – people love to win things and they will be eager to hear from you to find out if they’ve won, making them warmer to your follow up. Plus, word will get around about what you’re doing so you’ll become the talk of the event!
Don’t go for the hard sell
A networking event is a marathon, not a sprint. So, leave your sales pitch at home and go to the event with the goal of meeting new people. Don’t ask ‘What do you do?’, instead say ‘What’s keeping you busy at the moment?’ – this is an open question that the person can choose to interpret how they wish. You’re much more likely to bond over your mutual love of hiking, than you are over your 30 second 'elevator pitch'. Don’t forget to follow up the next day; in an email repeat something you discussed, send them a link to an interesting article, ask how that presentation they were worried about went. If you don’t follow up, your efforts will have been wasted.
Woburn House is a smart, versatile venue located in central London, just a stone’s throw from Euston station. It is perfect for large conferences and networking events for up to 200 people. To find out more contact the events team on firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7419 5489