Networking Festivities to jump start your New Year
Networking Tips to get through the Festive Season
The December month is always a great time of year, when seasonal festivities line up your calendar day and night, double-booked and triple booked and before you know it, the month is over. With year end Holiday parties and last minute business networks – take advantage of these sparkling events to polish up your Networking skills and go beyond just schmoosing and connecting! Make the perfect impression towards building real relationships that will make your 2014 a year of unprecedented successes, life changing experiences and opportunities that rock.
Here are some great Networking Tips to help you to get your roller decks charged for the new year.
1. First Impression with festive flare
Dress: As each day starts, you should be thinking of a day and evening wardrobe that compliments. With the cold weather creeping in, the suited option is perfect as you get to put your best smart look for the day and wear it comfortably for the night – no complaints about hot weather.
The professional suited look will do great for your networking first impressions. As we all know, it only takes 3 seconds to make or break that 1st impression and with so many networking events and attendees, you will be facing more intro’s than usual, so plan your day/evening events with transferable outfits.
Get your Elevator Pitch out – work it, short, sharp and simple! If you don’t have one already, get in touch with us, we’d be happy to share a few tips to help you construct one.
2. Don’t over indulge on those free flowing sparkling drinks
You already know this, but I can’t help but to keep saying it as there is always one office drama along the way. Free flow bars and happy hour specials especially around holiday time is great to enjoy at the expense of a long year of hard work, but don’t let a few too many ruin that years’ hard work. While every Christmas brings the joy of office party after-talk, lets just make sure it isn’t you! Gossip can outlive the few moments of cheer that it was. Watch the calories, on food and drink and enjoy looking great at every event, rather than tiptoeing through shameful moments before the month is over.
3. Unforgettable faces and names
The one question that pops up over again and again is ‘how can you train your mind to remember names and faces?”. This is particularly a hard one as some people generally have it better than others. Some tips are to use mnemonics, and references. Mnemonics are using exaggerated ideas about a persons look – the colour of their hair, clothes or features. Reference the name to something familiar like a song or family members name. When you hear a name, repeat it back in your introduction “Pleasure to meet you John”, or repeat it in your head a few times. – Try it and see how it works for you.
Rule of thumb, after every event, mark on the business card the brief discussion, and event. With so many events, you can easily forget who and when. Use a business card scanner / CRM system which helps you remember contacts much more easily and where you have met them.
4. Follow-up and follow-through
With so many events lined up, take the time to follow-up with emails, calls and meetings within 48hours of meeting each other. If you send a note a month later, you will sure to be forgotten unless you have already built up the relationship or had a lengthy conversation. Networking takes effort so be sure to reconnect, engage and hold true to your word; when you say you will contact someone – do it!
5. Build relationships not such connections.
Networking takes a lot of energy and contrary to the word itself, Networking is just the instigator to what we are ultimately trying to build – relationships, business referrals, a support structure, a community and ultimately a trusted network of people to work with. So remember – Networking isn’t about getting a business cards or how many connection you have on Linked-in, it’s about how many people can you mutually reach out too – it’s not about who you know – but about who KNOWS YOU!
These are some basic points to note for your month of Networking. While we cover a lot more in our Networking Skills class, one question that comes to mind is to ask yourself before you indulge in all the activities - “What’s the purpose of all this networking and what can I really do to make it work for me”? Time is valuable, but trusted relationships are priceless, Set some objectives to go beyond just a job search or ‘sale’ – aim to build a network that develops into real trusted business and personal relationships.
To know more about Networking for Success, and developing real soft skills, get in touch with us now.