Faith here - Marketing Coordinator for Thrive. I’m super excited to be the newest member of the Thrive Team!
As part of my position I often attend networking events around the greater Knoxville area. I’ve learned a lot in the past few months of what to do - and what not to do - for a more successful networking experience. Today I’d like to share with you some tips I’ve learned in hopes of helping you to improve your networking skills.
Whether you are an actual business owner, representative such as myself, or perhaps just a professional looking to further promote yourself in the business world, I have found these 3 tips to be pivotal for networking success:
Join the Conversation
If you’re naturally a wallflower (such as I am) this is going to be the hardest part. Networking is essentially just groups of people gathering together to discuss their businesses and build relationships in an effort to increase business. This is impossible for you to do if you awkwardly stand in the corner staring into your coffee cup, just hoping someone comes to talk to you. Don’t be afraid; attend networking events with a smile and a ready handshake; set a target number of people to meet before you leave; remember they are there to meet people as well so why shouldn’t you be one of those they meet?
Make Sure Your Pitch Solves a Problem
For those who have attended a networking event before, you know they can often be full of members spouting mandatory sales pitches that might never touch your life. All companies are built around filling a need. Insurance, healthcare, even toffee companies were all created at one point in time because the founder saw a need and decided to provide the solution - so what problem does your company solve? Find out and use it in your pitch to help others better relate to your company.
Learn to Listen
Above all - learn to listen. Pay attention to the details of what others are saying to you. Don’t just listen with the intent to respond - listen because you value what they are saying. The most memorable people in networking are the ones who ask engaging questions about others’ businesses before launching into their own pitch.
All this to say, networking can be extremely beneficial to your business or professional career. Follow these 3 tips and I promise you’ll see increased networking success - happy networking!