For many, networking events feel similar to swimming through shark-infested waters. However, we at Valiant Marketing Group contend that this doesn’t have to be the case. Here are some of our favorite strategies for making valuable connections.
First, our Valiant Marketing Group associates know how important it is to understand body language cues. You will feel much less like a predator if you know how to spot a potential contact who is open to a conversation. Shoulders apart and back, hands down and not crossed, and facing in a general direction (not specifically engaged with a particular person or group) are what you want to see before you approach someone.
Next, when you have struck up a dialogue, commit to the person with whom you are involved. Maintain eye contact, mirror his or her body language, and pay attention to other nonverbal signals like tone of voice and personal space. Do not ever look at your phone or watch, or scan the room to see if there’s anyone else to whom you’d rather be speaking. Any of these will immediately send a negative message and effectively ruin any rapport you might have built.
Finally, if you’d like to join up with an established group of people, look at the way everyone stands together. A group standing shoulder to shoulder in a circle, with a steady stream of laughter and conversation flowing, is not likely looking for someone to join them. Seek out loosely-knit groups that form U-shapes.
With these simple strategies, our Valiant Marketing Group leaders have helped even the most timid of us become comfortable with networking events.