First – Arrive Early, Leave Late.
This can’t be over-stated. You can only work the room if you are in the room and the longer you’re in it the longer you can work it.
Second – Come Prepared.
There’s nothing more embarrassing in an initial professional meeting than not having a business card to hand over when the person you are talking to is offering you theirs. Avoid this unprofessional look by arriving with far more than you think you are going to need.
Third – Bring a Friend/Colleague.
Let’s face it girls, we like the sisterhood around us. Having an associate or friend close helps to break the ice with others and can eliminate one of the greatest fears – standing alone. You may not stay together all evening, but having someone next to you as you walk through the door provides an enormous confidence boost to some of us.
And finally – Listen.
The Goddess of Networking, Heelios, gave us two ears and one mouth. Use them in that ratio. Only by listening can we establish the needs of others, their problems and desires. Armed with this knowledge, we can then source solutions for these deficiencies and offer the help they have turned up to receive. And if you leave a networking event with a trail of people you have helped behind you, what do you get in return? A trail of people wanting to help you right back. That’s how you gain from networking.
Okay, so there are some tips. Put them into practice at your next Business in Heels event and you’ll be amazed at how they slowly develop into the lasting and meaningful connections that lead to business.