The Importance Of Networking
It cannot be stated often enough how important professional networking is. The strength of our professional network is what gets us that extra piece of information or advice, gives us a head start in sales, give us a break when we are in trouble and many more positive things. Here you can read more about what professional networking is and why it is important. Below we should discuss what the successful outcome could be from careful preparations for networking and having the right attitude to go with it.
Cocktail Party Theory
Imagine a cocktail party, what is the first thing you observe when you enter the room? Many of us see who are standing in groups and who are on their own. How do we see these different people? Chances are that you perceive the people surrounded by others as more influential people with higher status than the people standing by themselves. Humans are after all flock animals with a strong instinct for pecking orders.
We shall use these emotions to our advantage and make others see us as the most important person at the event, a person nobody can ignore or forget.
Stick Out Like A Peacock
Getting noticed at once will save you a lot of time being noticed and remembered by people you meet. There are plenty of good examples of people who have used this technique – on purpose or not – to their advantage. Colors, hairstyle, clothing and accessories can all be used to achieve this effect.
A word of caution when using the peacock approach – try not to look like you are from a galaxy far, far away as that might do more damage than good. There are costume parties where you can live out your wildest fantasies.
Smile - Be Open To Conversations
Smiling and looking accessible is by far the best way to communicate to everybody present that you are friendly and open for a conversation. Try to think about this even if you have a bad day, as that bad day can turn even worse if your surrounding perceive you as unfriendly.
Instead – smile and be liked, that will make your day much faster than anything else.
Open Up Conversations
Now that you are dressed to be noticed and smile like the happiest person on the planet you will see that other persons are more than happy to greet you and as you greet them back you can easily open up conversations and small talk. Now others are already noticing you as somebody who attracts other people – your status at the event is rising.
By being attentive to others behaviors, mirror them when they are interacting with you and doing what you can to make them comfortable such as asking soft questions and giving them positive attention you will quickly get their positive responses and people at the entire event will see the positive atmosphere around you. Your star will continue to rise and if you keep it up you will have much to gain, as others will now seek you out whenever they see you, not only at this events but also at other events where they see you. You have become a networking star and your professional network will grow fast.
Now there are just a few more things to consider to maintain your successful networking momentum.
Reconnect Again Before Leaving The Event
If you have mingled around and talked with other people before you leave the event you should return to persons you have had a good talk with and say a proper good bye.
Follow Up Again A Few Days After The Event
Within a few days you should reconnect. Send the person a short message and thank him for the good conversation and say you look forward to talking again in the near future. Sending this short message reinforce the memory of you with the other person, strengthen your initial bond and makes it easier for you to maintain a strong professional network.
Founder of Fryday, An International Network Of Professionals
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