By Jason Rosado
Well… Here come the holidays, and in full force. I don’t know about you, but my schedule is BUSY… jam-packed, full to the brim. There are networking events, association and club meetings, family gatherings, friends’ parties, Meetups, Facebook events, Evites…
This can be a very interesting time of the year for many businesses (and tough for some). So much to do and so little time, lots of running around from this meeting to that event, back to work, downtown to run errands, to the mall for presents, back to that other event that I almost forgot about…
And if you’re a business leader, your productivity or sales might slow down as people gear up for the holidays, unless you sell reindeer feed, like my uncle in Alaska.
All this can drain your energy, cause stress and send some of us straight to “Bah, Humbug!” land. (Didn’t know that was a real place, did you?)
But, is that the kind of presence you want to have when you meet someone new at one of these many parties, networking events and meetings? Are you going to let out a cry for mercy as someone new approaches you at the eggnog bowl and tries to “pitch you” their services while grabbing a mini pizza roll?
I know the feeling. I’ve woken up late in the night and cried out for help and a break from all the holiday overload. But then I discovered the formula of classy, valuable, easy networking… well, it makes everything so much more enjoyable and worthwhile.
Here are “10 Essential Networking Tips.” They are especially useful during the holiday season to make connections that count, and they will help you keep your energy, sanity and holiday cheer.
1.) Make a good first impression
It counts OH, SO MUCH!
2.) Be polite, respectful & honest
This is how you want to be treated, right?
3.) Maintain a “giving” mindset
Just like the holidays, successful networking is all about giving. It should be easy to remember this time of year, but it’s an important mindset to have all year-round.
4.) Ask for their contact info
So you’ll be able to get in touch with them if you are interested in talking further.
5.) Don’t sell without permission
If you’re turned off by someone launches into a 5-minute sales presentation about their awesome pens that write underwater, in the dark and without gravity, don’t assume others are dying to hear about your slick wheel bearings, even if you KNOW that’s exactly what they need. This is a very important step – maybe the most important of all. You do want to tell people what you do, but in a classy, stylish way that gets their attention… (See below for more about this one)
6.) Avoid opening with “So, what do you do?”
It can kill rapport building before it begins and can condemn the interaction to being nothing more than boring, robotic and mindless chatter without exchanging the truly important information. If you open your conversations this way, you can miss an important opportunity to stand out from the rest of the crowd.
7.) FOLLOW UP – aka Don’t rely on them to contact you
Just because they said they were thrilled to have met you and learned about your slick wheel bearings, doesn’t mean they will really call you. They may have intended to at the time, but life happens and no one is perfect. So get their info so you can ensure the follow-up.
8.) Always carry pen, paper & business cards
You never know when a great opportunity might present itself. Yes, even while you’re fighting for that last “Cosmic Raymond” action figure.
9.) Do not get out of a conversation by dumping them on someone else
Making another person suffer is no way to get a good reputation during the holidays. Kindly excuse yourself, tell them you need another drink, see someone you need to speak with, or even that you have to “go” really bad! And don’t get caught lying as that will kill all of your credibility really fast.
10.) Enjoy yourself!
Relax and have fun! When you’re smiling and enjoying yourself, you are more likable to others, and this can lead to a lot of business. Be kind, considerate and magnetic!
I hope these tips help you as you network your way through all the parties this season.
All the best,
If you would like more tips on how to grow your business while cutting your stress, check out the resources at http://www.DistinctiveCoaching.com
Jason Rosado helps business owners and executives to multiply their revenue by 50-300% while cutting their work hours and creating more personal time, freedom and flexibility. For helpful leadership, time management and growth ideas, to contact Jason or have him speak at your event, go here: http://www.DistinctiveCoaching.com