In part 1 we looked at some basic networking mistakes and some top tips to get more from the networking events you visit. Now we will look at some easy ways to ‘work the room’ and get speaking to the people who you can work with.
Networking is about building relationships. It is the first time you will likely have met someone and it is the very start of your collaborative working relationship.
A common mistake is to talk or lean toward people you know, who are easy to talk to and make the networking event comfortable for you. Step one is to avoid this, go meet new people who you don’t know but would quite like to get to know. Part of this is about knowing who is at your networking event, so do your homework and get an attendee list in advance.
Entering a room of strangers, knowing who you would like to talk to but don’t know where they are or what they look like can be a challenge. The easy answer is ask the organiser. Normally there will be a registration process, so ask that person who other people are. Job done!
Everybody Is Already Talking?
Breaking into a group seem difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. Often you will see groups of 3 or 4 people talking together (networking), you would like to join in but don’t know how? Then try these simple words –
Approach a group of 2/3 people, then say “sorry to butt in, I’m Dave from Lime Consultancy, sorry I interrupted, please carry on…” This will see you introduced to the group, they will provide a quick overview of the ongoing conversation and you are now part of the clique. By the way, please change the name as that’s me! But, apart from that stick to those words and you will be fine.
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Author Byline – By David Farmer