Working The Room
Maximising your time
At any networking event, your attitude should be one of working the room, rather than spending all your time with one person. Working the room is a systematic approach to developing contacts, and you need to spend your time wisely.
Working the room involves more than having interesting discussions with a number of contacts; in fact, working the room is a waste of time if you then leave empty-handed.
Ask for their business card, read it carefully and find something to comment about. Your contact will invariably say yes, you can contact them.
Write on the card the day that you have agreed to call. Let them see you do this.
On that Wednesday or Thursday, ensure that you call without fail.
That call is the key moment to expose yourself to the possibility of doing business. Networking doesn't work when consultants waste their valuable time by not following up effectively. Networking is most effective when the attitude is, " How can I help you?" not "What's in it for me?"
"Who would you like me to introduce you to?" and "How can I know if someone I'm talking to will be a good introduction for you?" are 2 basic questions to show new or existing contacts that you understand the basic rules.
It's Christmas time. Someone gives you a present and you haven't given them one. How do you feel?
It's the same with referrals and introductions. If you can recommend one person to another, eventually the favours will be returned. When it's your turn to ask the key question, "Who do you know who...?" the chances of getting a positive answer will be greatly enhanced.
Always give without remembering and receive without forgetting. Networking doesn't work when the consultant doesn't give in order to get. In the longer run... gives gain.
Consider your own approach:
When you are at a networking event, do you:
Look for what you can get out of it?
Look for what you can give to others?
Finally, ater the networking event you should:
(c) 2005 Will Kintish