Everyone knows that importance of networking in business. It is what builds most of the important contacts and business. But if you are socially awkward or just hate small talk and networking in general, here are a few tips to help you get through the ordeal.
1) Be Persistently Punctual:
Being the guy who’s late to the conversation already puts you in an awkward position which is not desirable, especially when you are dreading all the networking in the first place. So, be it a party or business gathering, always be on time, or rather preferably be early so that you can relax and work on your charms. Learn these habits from people who are chronically punctual.
2) Research Rigorously:
Do your research. Half the awkwardness of networking can be resolved if you know who is who and what they do. It will help you converse better, and you also get a chance to impress your contacts with your knowledge about their work. But make sure your research pertains to only their work and not their personal lives.
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3) Observe before Speaking:
Watch the people around you well. If you are trying to connect to someone important, observe him or her a bit and that will give you some idea of how to approach better. You can even get to know what he or she likes and dislikes and work the conversation that way.
4) List down all of your Networking Goals:
Have some set networking goals in your mind and prepare for conversations that you might have. Being often prepared ensures that a conversation goes more smoothly and easily. Even if it throws a curveball at you, you will be able to handle better, if you have a mental checklist prepared for the conversation. Evernote is a very good note-taking tool that you can access from anywhere and from any devices. Take a help of Evernote to list down all your goals that you can even access and manage from anywhere.
5) Good Humous Always Helps:
“A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Build and recall connection. If there is someone you have met in the past, start off by reminiscing. When you introduce yourself or meet the person again, talk about something funny or interesting that happened the last time you met. It not only will help you in perking up your health and keeping you joyful, according to a recent study, but it also will make people put their guards down and interact better.
6) Be Witty and Smart:
Icebreakers can come mighty handy when you are awkward with small talk. Prepare a list of interesting ice-breakers which you can use in case of a conversation emergency. These will help you avoid those uncomfortable silences and weird eye contacts.
7) Make Your First Impression Count:
Making a good first impression is important. A nice smile or a firm handshake should do wonders for your networking skills. It is not uncommon for people to remember someone they met somewhere simply because of their striking personality, which automatically ensures a preference or a soft corner for the person. Check these tips from Hubspot on making a great first impression.
8) Your Business Card should Mean Business:
Have your business card ready. It is a good idea to invest some time and money to print your business card. You can even use some online printing tools like Gogoprint. A good business card is really well because it is the most important representation of your brand. Keep adequate copies handy at any event so that you can hand them out to your potential clients, partners or investors.
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9) Make sure your Non-verbal Communication is on Point:
Even if you have messed up the first impression a bit, don’t panic. There is still time to make a good last impression. Be polite but don’t be shy. Make meaningful conversation, ensure that you have the right body language, smile and don’t pretend or force yourself into your contact. Nothing can be more annoying than a pushy person who tries to sell his brand. Here are five very different business areas that an entrepreneur needs to master if he or she wants a successful business.
10) Be in Touch even after your Meeting:
Follow-up with the contacts you have made else all the effort and work that you put in networking goes to waste. Send them polite emails or calls and remind them gently about the business ideas that you want to share.
With a little bit of thought and conscious effort, networking can indeed be easy for even the most socially awkward people.
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