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Tips to turn you into a networking pro

1 June 2017

Couldn't join us for Nikki Heald's networking session? You may have missed out on making at least three solid connections on the night but never fear, we've got you covered with Nikki's top 10 tips to work the room and avoid being that person at a networking event.

Master a positive first impression
You never get a second chance! Consider your personal presentation, grooming and body language. Be sure to send accurate messages regarding your level of professionalism.

Arrive early and be prepared
Ensure you have sufficient business cards that will support your professional message. At a networking event, these are generally exchanged following conversation or when requested.

Introductions
Assume the role of business host and attempt to introduce others. Handshakes should be firm and professional

Focus on quality not quantity
Most people have experienced the networking shark who likes to distribute 200 business cards in 30 minutes! Remember, less is more.

Approach people who are alone
They will appreciate your friendly gesture and you may find this easier than disrupting a larger group.

Try to remember people's names
Following introduction, try to use the other person's name two to three times in the conversation to etch it into your memory.

Build and maintain the relationship
After an event, follow up with a thank you within 24-48 hours. Keep it genuine, short and relevant to them. Continue to follow up regularly with newsletters, points of interest and articles that may be of interest.

Develop an exit strategy
When the going gets tough (and believe me, on occasion it will) or if you get waylaid in a long, boring conversation, have a way out that is both polite and professional. It could be as simple as "I've really enjoyed meeting you, excuse me and I hope you enjoy the rest of the evening."

Finally, networking should be enjoyable and fun!
Use the opportunity to meet new people and learn new things.