Making strong and reliable professional contacts can be a key aspect in determining the success and reputation of you and your business. This is because business relationships are important for in terms of finding new clients, climbing up the corporate ladder within a company, or even for expending your own business if you have one. Therefore, it is important to make a good impression at networking events, whether it’s at a conference with other people from your industry, or whether you are throwing your own social function for other established business people. If you are looking to improve your networking skills, here are three tips which you might find useful to know.
Build genuine connections
Networking is, first and foremost, a professional environment. However, that doesn’t mean to say that you should spend every moment of each conversation repeating your name and saying what you do for a living. There is an art to conversation in these situations, just as there is when you are socializing in an informal environment. It is important that you make yourself known, but that you don’t dominate the conversation. Ask questions about the people that you are talking to, and bond over shared interests outside of the office; for example, if you and the person you are talking to both like to gamble on sites such as Unibet, then you could talk about your favorite games. The more that you can build a personal connection with someone, the more they will become invested in helping you succeed.
Non-verbal communication is important
Body language is key when it comes to networking, as this is the first thing people notice about you. The most important quality which you can convey through the way that you hold yourself is confidence. You need to find the line between coming across as intimidating and arrogant, and not being too deferential or timid. People, especially in the business world, are naturally attracted to someone who is self-assured, but also who has open body language and an approachable demeanor. For example, it is important to smile, keep your head up and shoulders back, and give a firm handshake when greeting people.
Work on your verbal communication skills
Communicating isn’t just about conveying your thoughts and opinions well, it is also about how well you listen to others. When you are taking part in a conversation, it is important to show that you are listening by reiterating parts of the conversation to show understanding and also elaborating on points which people make. For example, if someone starts to talk about something which is happening in the news, you can get involved by first acknowledging their point, then talking about any further information you’ve heard, before opening the floor for them to speak again by asking their point of view again (either the same story or on a different headline in the news). Remember that you don’t want to make someone feel inferior, so only ask them something you think they will know about and don’t overpower them by talking too much.