Networking is something that all businesses will need to do if they stand a chance at growing and expanding. You see, you will get to a point where you realize you could be doing more and having more sales and customers, and it’s a conscious choice that you make whether you’re happy where you’re at, or whether you want to push yourself even further to become a real success. If you’ve never properly networked before in person, then it can be rather intimidating to begin with because you will feel as though you’re swimming in a big pond with big fish, and you’re barely able to keep up with any of them, but this is entirely normal to feel this way. It’s all about the confidence, or even faking confidence until you start to believe it yourself. It’s scary engaging in conversation with the big dogs, but it’s necessary if you want to climb up the ladder and be even better than you may already be.
Here’s how to stand out from the crowd and make a real name for yourself.
Create a display
If you have your own stall set up, then there are a lot of things that you can do to really use the space that you have. Sure, you can stand behind a table full of leaflets and hope that someone will stop by so that you can tell them about your business, but this is a rather weak attempt and you may just lose your chance. Go all out and get yourself an exhibition display that shows everyone exactly who you are, what your brand is, and why they should come and find out more. Don’t be afraid to invest your money in props that do you justice.
Use what you have
When someone approaches you at the event, half of what you’ve created goes right out of the window depending on how you present yourself. Body language is one of the most important things in the world no matter what situation you’re in. Stand up straight. When necessary, offer a firm handshake that reflects who you are. And most importantly, always have good eye contact. This doesn’t mean refuse to look away through the entire engagement – because that would unnatural and rather weird, but when someone’s speaking to you, look at them.
Last but not least, when the event is over and you’ve accumulated phone numbers and email addresses – make sure you follow up on that, be it the same day, or the day after. Remember that people will be meeting with hundreds of other businesses throughout the day too, so even if you left a great impression on them, they may not remember that within the following three hours because of everyone else they then met after you. So in order to stay in their mind and remind them of how brilliant your meeting went, send them a follow-up email to jog their memory.