Amber Raney-Kincade, Marketing Consultant recently spoke at the UEA London about networking. She split her session into three sections and made the following recommendations.
- Create a network plan
- Prepare an ‘elevator pitch’
- Request an attendee list and do some research
- Arrive early, before groups have formed
- Look for a familiar face that can introduce you to others
- Smile, shake hands and don’t sit by yourself!
- Try to communicate and engage with everyone
- Walk up to a small group, start listening and engage with questions like ‘Hello, do you mind if I join you?’
- Stimulate the conversation by asking questions like’ What do you do?’
- Remember you don’t have to talk about business – find a common area of interest
- Make notes on their business card
- Students should think of networking as a fact finding mission, rather than trying to sell something
When you want to leave a group and talk to others, Amber suggested the following phrases;
We should probably mingle further now.
Do you know anyone in the room you could introduce me to?
I see someone that you might want to meet.
Would you excuse me please?
I see someone that I need to speak to before he/she leaves….please excuse me.
I need to speak to a few more people before I leave.
- Connect with everyone on www.linkedin.com
- Send a follow up email, thanking them for their time.
- Request a follow up meeting, if appropriate
Good resources where you can find networking events in your area:
Did you know that you can get business cards for free at vistaprint.com?
For more information on Amber and her company go to http://www.raney-kincade.co.uk/Raney-Kincade/Home.html