I’m coming to my first Networking@Night tomorrow. Any tips?
Ask questions (lots of them). Don’t talk about yourself! Ask thoughtful questions — and actually listen to the answers.
Be a connector. Instead of focusing only on making your own connections, make an effort to connect others. When speaking with someone, think about whether there’s someone else at the event who could help (or be helped) by this person, and then make an introduction.
Discuss commonalities. People tend to gravitate toward those with whom they share similarities. This is known as the similarity attraction effect. When meeting others with shared traits or experiences, be sure to point out the similarities you have to increase perceived social compatibility.
Don’t be a product-pusher. Nobody likes the person who attends events to push products. Networking events may result in leads, but should never be used as a way to directly sell or promote your products.
Smile. Smiling conveys happiness, openness and confidence; not to mention that smiling can actually help you feel happier. Smile liberally to make yourself as approachable as possible.
Bring business cards. This is a no-brainer, right? But it’s good to have a reminder.