One thing you can’t avoid if you want to go up the career ladder or become a successful entrepreneur is networking. In as much as you may not like it , this thing has to be done. However while doing it, please kindly note : DO NOT BE SLEAZY! It’s off putting. Please stay : cool , calm and collected.
Here 5 ways to avoid being sleazy at a networking event:
1. Don’t stick your card in anyone’s face
Before you eagerly share your business card, ask if they would like it. It might sound unnecessarily stiff, but you’ll appear more respectful and less pushy.
2. Find common ground
Nothing is more awkward than a conversational dead-end, so find things you have in common to keep the conversation flowing. A shared interest, field or alma mater will also help you to build familiarity and trust.
3. Ask thoughtful questions
Networking events are notorious for being shallow mixers with people talking over each other. Ask questions about their niche, company or their take on industry trends. Flatter them by showing genuine interest.
4. Don’t rush to talk about you
Be friendly and attentive but don’t jump to the elevator pitch immediately. Then once they ask, or there’s a pause, pipe in with what you do. This sends the message that you’re there to learn about others, not just promote yourself.
5. Don’t ask them to do business with you (that time will come)
Networking meet ups are like singles events; you don’t need to leave with a fiancé! Your only goal should be finding people that you can follow up with (for coffee, lunch or a phone call) to continue the conversation. So do yourself a favour and don’t freak out any prospective clients by getting on one knee and proposing.
Happy Networking ladies!