Technology and social media have revolutionized the networking landscape. However, that does not mean in-person networking is a thing of the past. At least 84% of business executives say that in-person meetings are essential for long-term business relationships.
If you’re looking to strike a big deal, an in-person meeting is the best way to get your pitch across. In-person meetings are more intimidating than online networking, which is why many people avoid it and lose the value it can bring to the bottom line of their business. In this post, we bring you some essential tips that will help you navigate through awkward face-to-face situations in in-person meetings and dive right into engaging conversations.
Starting a conversation with a big group can be intimidating, but you can join in on the conversation with the right approach. Start your evening off by introducing yourself to one person who is alone and would be willing to talk to you. Start off strong and make an impression by using your well-crafted elevator pitch.
Your first connection is your gateway to meeting more people. Maybe the person you talked to came with friends and can help you break into bigger groups. Then, you can deliver your message to a larger audience.
What we mean by this is that you should not try to talk to as many people in the room as possible. It will prove to be much more productive if you just stick with connecting with a few people and try to establish a connection with them. When you’re in front of the right person, do everything you can to capture their interest and keep the conversation flowing.
The goal of in-person networking is to make connections; not meet as many people as you possibly can, therefore, you should not rush through conversations. But, sometimes when you realize that conversation is not going anywhere, you must jump ship. Whether you are chatting with someone who is not willing to listen to your side of the story or someone who is just wasting your time with talk about their workplace, you should still end the conversation politely.
If you find that the conversation is not going to end up in a connection, say something like “Have you seen Mr./s. X from Company Y? I’ve been searching for them the whole evening.” This way, you will be able to escape the conversation without offending anyone.
When you are sharing information about your business, stay on topic and keep it short. You can delve into details later, but generally, people will lose interest if you fail to cut to the chase. The key to effective networking is building rapport; if others cannot understand what you are trying to say, a connection will never happen.
It goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway. If you spend all your money and time to network and don’t follow up with potential clients, it has all been for nothing. Take control and follow up on your conversation to build real relationships!
Lindsay has been with Agency Access for seven years. After a transition from Campaign Manager where she managed multiple client campaigns, she found her home as Marketing Manager. She enjoys working in the creative world and bringing her Public Relations background to the forefront.
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