Monday, 19 October 2009

Networking tips at Liverpool Chamber of Commerce

I was asked to do a 'new' presentation on 15th October - on networking skills for
new members at Liverpool Chamber of Commerce. The idea was to get people
talking to each other and not listening to me! That was a challenge as I
normally expect my audiences to listen not talk!

However, armed with my experiences of networking over the last four years
and hints picked up from Will Kintish and Clive Gott I put my own version together.

Feeling a little like the school teacher I used to be I had to use a whistle
to break the conversations that quickly filled the room and I was delighted
with the buzz!

I was asked for my hints, so here they are:-

If you invest selflessly at networking events and go with an approach of
getting to know people and seeking how to help them, it will be far more
effective in the long run than a 'hard sell' approach.

Go alone or if with a colleague, separate from them - you can talk to them

Wear your name badge on the right, so when you give a firm handshake and
hear a name your eye goes to the written version too, so making it easier to

Ladies - ditch the handbag and leave hands free for greeting others.

Business cards - make sure they have information on both sides otherwise
your naked back will be used as a notepad for someone else's details!

When you ask for a card, make a comment on something about it.

People do business with people they like, so instead of talking 'business'
ask and LISTEN to questions about hobbies, interests, favourite restaurants.
Share history, e.g. area you were born, where you went to school.

A fun activity is to find something unusual you have in common. At one event
I discovered a mutual admiration for a fish and chip shop in Ullapool!

After the event - follow-up.

a. Look at the attendance list and if there was someone you wanted to
meet but didn't, ask the Chamber to introduce you.

b. Send a friendly e-mail next day.

c. Contact via social networking sites, e.g. Twitter, Linked-In,
Facebook, Chamber of Commerce.

d. Send a 'saw this and thought of you' information, event, etc.
linked to one of their interests

e. Arrange a meeting.

Best networking tools? SMILE and be positive!

Thank you Liverpool Chamber staff and members for an enjoyable evening.

Elaine Hanzak

No comments: