We are at the mid-year point of 2020 (hard to believe, right?). One of your goals for this year may have been to attend more networking events. However, your goal may have been sidetracked by stay-at-home orders or canceled events.
With so many in-person events being canceled, many organizers, associations, chambers, and organizations have gone online. Networking can still be a very effective prospecting activity; we just have to do it differently. Here are 3 tips to help you network more effectively.
1. Have a Purpose
The first thing you need to recognize is, why are you there? Is it to meet a particular person or group of people? Is it to be seen? Is it to get attendee information to build your prospecting list? Is it to introduce someone to a person you know? Find your purpose for attending and remember that as you are there.
2. Have a strong personal presence
Eye contact and effective communication skills are critical. Good eye contact, whether into your camera or a person’s eyes. You need to ask the right questions of other attendees and listen to their answers. Listening could be essential to understanding if they are a potential prospect or not. You have fractions of a second to make an excellent first impression. Make yours count!
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3. Find Common Ground To Talk About
Finally, many people struggle to make small talk. Here is an acronym to assist with that: F.O.R.D. It stands for Family, Occupation, Recreation, and Dreams. This provides you direction to help them tell you more about themselves. Ask more inquiring questions. Not only do you have a conversation going, but you’re building rapport with that individual.
Take these small tips with you to your next event, either online or off, and see what happens. You never know…you might happen to meet your next center of influence or your new best client!