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Title: Three Reasons Why You Avoid Business Networking Events
Author: Louise Yates
Do you go out of your way to avoid business networking
meetings? Do you tell yourself that networking doesn't work for
you? Do you view business networking strictly as the domain for
the confident or extrovert?
Well if the response is yes to any of these questions read on
and you might be pleasantly surprised to find out that business
networking could provide you with a goldmine of opportunity, one
which you could tap into more easily than your think.
Let's dispel some myths first:
Myth 1: Networking is only for those who like to talk….wrong!
In fact those who like to talk about themselves at the expense
of listening to others are actually probably the worst
networkers. Business networking is all about relationship
building with others in order that they can get to know, like
and trust you. Those who talk and do not listen do two things:
they fail to understand the needs of those they are talking to
and secondly end up boring the other person. This is not a good
start to building up relationships.
So if your strength is listening rather than talking you are
already one step ahead of the game.
Myth 2: You have to be good at selling to be a good
Well partly wrong…business networking isn't about giving a
sales pitch for your services and closing the sale, but it is
all about selling yourself. This means that when you go to a
networking event you need to relax and be yourself, then people
will see the real you. If you start pretending to be someone you
aren't then others will see through this façade and whether it
is consciously or unconsciously they will not trust you.
In fact many business people who dislike conventional sales
techniques such as cold-calling opt for the softer option of
business networking or referral marketing because building
business in this way is based on developing relationships.
Myth 3: You are the only person who will feel nervous at a
When faced with a room full of strangers there are few people
who will say they relish making those first steps to approaching
someone to talk to, especially when they have arrived alone. But
remember, everyone is there for the same reason – to meet
people, so think how delighted someone will be if you go and
join them, especially if they too are on their own.
If you struggle for topics to start the conversation, ask some
easy open-ended questions that will quickly help you to build
rapport with the other person. For example `What other events do
you go to?' or `where do you come from' or `What do you do?'
So, what other business networking tips should you take with
you to your next event to help boost your confidence?
Undoubtedly your top tip is to be prepared. Know where you are
going, arrive plenty in time and find out what the format of the
Have your elevator pitch prepared – this is the brief sound
bite you give when someone asks you what you do. If you will be
giving a formal 60 second pitch, ensure this too is prepared in
Dress appropriately for the event but try to wear what you feel
Prepare some simple rapport-building questions you can ask
anyone to get the conversation started and take plenty of
business cards with you.
So apply all these tips, be prepared to stick with it and soon
you will find that networking is no longer a chore but an
enjoyable way to grow your business.
About The Author: Louise Yates shares business networking tips
and advice for word of mouth marketing, generating referrals and
sales leads at
executive coaching for business performance, life and career
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