Happy new year! How long are we still allowed to include “Happy New Year” in our emails? A week, the whole month? Something that I struggle with every January *first world problem, I know*
Anyway I’m (officially) almost a week into my new venture and I’ve been thinking about how I’ve come to build the business relationships which have ultimately lead to me being able to ‘make the leap’, this wonderful new year. I’m feeling very lucky.
I’ve never considered myself to be ‘good’ at traditional networking, I find sales pitches and the rubbish that come along with them a complete turn off, so venturing into the realms of selling ones-self was initially a little (**very**) daunting.
However once I gave myself a little bit of a talking to and relaxed into being happy with who I am and what I can offer, I’ve found the whole experience much easier than I thought (and even at times enjoyable). So here are my top networking tips for beginners:
Make a positive first impression, offer a sweet, drink , make a compliment, ask a question?
A big smile and open body language shows that you’re comfortable in somebody’s presence , or will make you seem as if you are, even if perhaps you’re feeling nervous.
Operating with kindness and being yourself will automatically make you more likeable. Nobody is impressed by those who are competitive and bullish from the outset.
KNOW YOUR STUFF
Do your research, come prepared and try to answer any questions as well as you can, try and remember names if you can.
Prepare to impress, as above but be honest, if you’re asked a question you don’t know the answer to don’t make things up (you will get found out) and listen to others. Networking is not all about you, you’re there to learn too.
Ultimately I believe that networking is all about gaining trust and building relationships, with humans. Humans like to be heard and also benefit from listening. Be kind to others when they don’t seem to be giving you chance to talk in networking situations, as chances are that they are just as nervous as you are.
I’m pretty sure that working hard and being nice to people is what it’s all about! (I hope so anyway).
Good vibes only! ✨