How to network successfully

There are so many positives that can come from successful networking. New and existing leads can be created and cultivated. Your name, and that of the company you represent, also travels around a room full of potential and receptive partners. It’s very much in your interest to make the most of these business meet-ups and with a few well-drilled tactics, you can master the art of ‘working the room’.

So become a networking CHAMP by following our five-step guide:

(C) Confidence – Exuding self-assurance will firmly put you in the driving seat at any networking event. Talking authoritatively about your business will put you and those you’re conversing with at ease. Speak with clarity, be confident in your message and friendly in your tone. Soon you will find that your confidence is shared by those you’re trying to develop business with.

(H) Homework – In the days leading up to a networking meet-up you are attending, it could prove beneficial to find out who else might be there. Having a few people to target in mind on the day of the event will help you to stay focused on what you’re trying to achieve, and will certainly put you on the front foot in crafting some valuable introductions.

(A) Action – Be proactive! Standing meekly in a corner taking the occasional sip of your drink and casting hopeless glances toward the other attendees is going to get you nowhere. Go and join a group’s conversation, introduce yourself to people as they arrive, assert yourself in the room and get talking!

(M) Manners – They really do cost nothing, but can reap extremely profitable rewards. Thanking people for their time, being generous with your own, conducting yourself in a calm and reciprocal manner will endear you to potential business partners and increase your chances of being on the guest list for future meetings.

(P) Punctuality – Ignore the old adage of being ‘fashionably late’. That may wash at the school prom, but these are serious, time-conscious business folk you’re dealing with. And turning up late will only give the impression of tardiness across all aspects of your business. Arriving on time, or even a touch early, also gives you a much better chance of ingratiating yourself into the group. You’re there when the conversations are just starting and when those new to networking will be experiencing a few nerves and be grateful of a friendly face. So set the alarm, have your route planned and get in early for the best chance of success.

Embedding these five concepts into your networking practice will see you become a CHAMP of your business community and provide you with the tools and opportunities to build up a cache of valuable contacts. Above all else, enjoy yourself! Networking events are not supposed to be a challenge or a test. They are a chance to meet like-minded people, generate leads and promote your business. So get out there and be a champ!

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