The growth of social media platforms and the continuous requirement for an online presence means our “offline” etiquette is at times neglected. Networking is crucial when building successful business partnerships.
Luckily, navigating a room is easily learned with a few simple steps. Ebraheem Al Samadi, entrepreneur and founder of Forever Rose London, discusses his top tips to develop connections.
1. Flee your comfort zone
Taking a few more chances and putting yourself out there to meet new people will provide you with more doors you may not have realised were available. Have you wanted to take a meeting with someone you believe would be beneficial? Then pick up the phone and invite them for a coffee. You have nothing to lose by trying but you have everything to lose by doing nothing.
2. Be authentic
Being true to yourself is important as people can quickly tell when someone is not being genuine. Open up and share your personal business journey, as well as any vulnerabilities you have had along the way, as this will allow people to feel comfortable to open up to you. Simply put, identify your core values, discuss them openly and create a sense of authenticity and establish your credibility.
3. Be prepared
Before you go to any potential networking event, do your homework by researching why is it being held, the types of people who usually attend, and the dress code. By taking the time to understand the environment, you will feel more comfortable and have a clear plan on who you want to meet and what you want to get out of the experience.
4. Mix and mingle
Take a moment to observe the room upon arrival and be prepared with a few talking points. Engage in mutual conversations and encourage others to open up. People love to talk about themselves so provide a few leading questions and allow them to drive the conversation. Most importantly, make sure to create memorable conversations with as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time.
5. Master the elevator pitch
Concentration spans are short so work on a tight 60-second elevator pitch of your business to quickly communicate who you are and express your ideas to someone who could be important to you. It acts as a buffer, giving valuable information in the shortest time possible. Remember, that time is money so keep it simple and concise.
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