In business, it’s not always about what you know; it’s also about who you know. Therefore, meeting people through business networking is key to success. Many people find networking stressful or awkward, but with a bit of preparation, anyone can gain the confidence to turn a networking event into a great opportunity to make business contacts. Follow these tips to create your own business networking strategy and ace your next networking event.
Firstly, you have to know what you want to achieve by attending networking events. Do you want to get new business cards, or to hand your own business card out? Are you looking to meet potential employers, employees, or clients? Maybe you want to talk to potential investors about your startup. There are many benefits of attending networking events, so figure out why you are going, and prepare accordingly.
Once you know what you want to achieve, plan your networking around your goals. Decide ahead of time which networking events you will attend, and who you want to meet at each event. If your goal is to meet investors, research their interests, and practice speaking about your company. If your goal is to meet employers, be ready to speak about your business experience, and take some business cards with you.
Do Your Research
One of the most important steps in preparing for a networking event is researching the people you are interested in talking to. Remember, the point of business networking is to show people that you could provide a valuable partnership to them. Fintech and technology entrepreneurs in particular should be aware that there are plenty of other startups pitching their ideas to investors, so you need set yourself apart from the competition. It is critical to know what makes people tick, and to bring it up when talking to them to show your interest.
Practice Your Elevator Speech
The best way to impress potential investors or business leads is to know what you are talking about. Stand out with a concise, punchy elevator speech. Practice telling potential investors or clients who you are and what you do in a seemingly unrehearsed speech of about one minute in length.
Dress to Impress
Once you have prepared to network, it’s time to execute. Dress appropriately for the occasion, and make sure never to underdress. Many people struggle to know what to wear to networking events. For most networking events, smart-casual attire is appropriate: a blazer, shirt, and smart trousers for men, and a blazer, shirt and trousers or business dress for women.
Congratulations! You are at the event and you are networking with the people you planned to meet. Now, don’t mess it up. Once you have given them your business card and received their contact details, follow up with them. Send an email saying how pleased you were to meet them, and how much you would like to meet in the near future. Nothing looks worse than someone who doesn’t follow up!
Eaton Club frequently hosts events bringing together entrepreneurs, startups, and investors in finance, technology, and other industries. Join us at one of our events and use your new networking skills to make new business contacts. If you are ready to master business networking, why not host an event at Eaton Club, a premium event venue located in Central Hong Kong. Inquire now and start planning your own networking event.