Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Unemployment continues to weigh on recovery internationally. Many people who are not finding traditional jobs are making the leap to create their own, while those still clinging on realize job security is becoming a way of the past. Today, whether you’re building a business or must expand your reach in the marketplace, networking is an essential element of success.
Networking is a 3-phase process that involves specific steps before, during, and after events. If you’ve already applied the 4 Ps of Networking, you’re ready to work a mixer. Yet, socializing in a business context conceals pressure to perform with speed and effectiveness. When, how, and whom do you approach
Practice these three ways to connect with advantage:
Assess The Room
The biggest mistake people make when attending a networking event is buying into the conventional wisdom that everyone is open to conversation.The fact is, not everyone is! Assess the room to identify who’s open to being approached. Observe group formations and attendees non-verbal communication to determine when and whom to join. Failure to do so may result in interrupting people in the midst of building rapport or closing a deal.
Attract Unidentified Opportunity
The universe supports those who take a leap of faith to achieve their highest goals. When you attend an event with presence and purpose, the Law of Attraction favors your endeavors. The more energy you focus on what you want to create, the more people, opportunities, and resources you will attract to help your vision become reality.
Get present and systematically scan the room: Who’s present? What information is your radar capturing? Whom are you attracted to? Who do you resonate with? Focus on those individuals by making eye contact and smile with intent. People who resonate on the same frequency attract each other and are drawn together.
Set Your Sights
Knowing who is attending is advantageous in connecting with the right people. Associations often list registered members and guests on the calendar or events section of their website. Or, if the list of participants is not distributed at the event, one is always available at the registration desk. Ask permission to take a glance. Hosts are the easiest people to approach for help. Describe the profile you’re looking for and ask for recommendations. If you know the host, ask, Who must I meet today? They often know the movers and shakers and will be more than happy to introduce you.
Initiate poised contact by introducing yourself and inviting others to do the same. While you’re standing over the shrimp, ask focused questions: Tell me about yourself, why are you here How can I help you? Who is your ideal client maybe I can help Remember that givers gain — be of help before asking for it.
If you’re interested in developing the relationship, suggest meeting at a later date so you can explore common areas of interests. Exchange business cards, move on, and be sure to follow up promptly.
Recognizing when, how, and whom to approach at business networking events can help you make conscious decisions to achieve the results you seek. Armed with goals, self-awareness, and confidence you can create multiple new connections. When preparation meets opportunity, you harvest your luck!