Attending networking events is one of the best ways for entrepreneurs to socialize with colleagues and potential clients. However, not all of us feel at ease in a room full of strangers. But regardless of your anxiety, the more practiced you become, the less anxious you will feel.
Begin with a handshake.
When approaching someone at an event, start your conversation with a firm handshake. Make eye contact, extend your hand and introduce yourself.
Play the name game.
If you are just meeting someone for the first time, use his or her name frequently in the conversation. This will make the other person feel more connected to you.
Show some interest.
Don’t just collect and hand out business cards all night. Approach new acquaintances with genuine interest in their businesses, hobbies and opinions.
Ask the right questions.
Everyone has a passion and a story. Find out what makes people tick by asking questions like, “How did you get involved in…?” or “What do you enjoy most about your work?”
During conversations, train your ears to hear problems so you can present solutions. Stay on the look out for potential partnerships or business opportunities.
Everyone likes a good pat on the back. Use what you know about your new acquaintance’s work to compliment his or her business accomplishments.
Note: “Fresh Ideas” are published each week by Countybank and its family of financial service companies. With financial centers in Greenville and Greenwood, Countybank has a team of highly engaged professionals ready to bring a full scope of financial solutions designed to help families and business owners reach their goals.