Networking aficionado Camille Pierson credits her dedication to networking for the rapid expansion and success of her business, The Float Spa. She attends around 10 to 12 networking events a month so has a lot of insight into what people do right and wrong at these sorts of events. She has combined this knowledge with the ideas around mindfulness she embraces to come up with a set of tips to help new and experienced networkers to network mindfully and get the most out of it.
Give It a Try
For novice networkers, Camille recommends that you give every type of networking a try as they vary hugely between formal structured meetings and more informal social ones. Keep an open mind and just see which type suits your personality.
Have a Purpose
Both new and serial networkers benefit from having a purpose and a focus when they attend networking events. It’s very easy to fall into chit chat with people you know or explaining everything your business does to everyone. Camille finds it much more useful to have an objective and/or a focus for each networking event such as, she may want to connect with a hotelier to offer her services to their guests or she might have a focus to promote a new service she is offering.
See Who’s Going
With this focus in mind, it’s helpful to see the list of attendees before the event so you can pick out the people you would most like to talk to. If you are new to networking and the thought of approaching people cold is nerve wracking, speak to the organisers and see if they can organise an introduction for you.
Once you’re at the networking event, it’s important not to oversell what you’re offering. People who immediately jump into their sales spiel after shaking your hand can be off putting so it’s a good idea to hold back and try to get to know the people you meet instead.
To allow you to meet the most people, don’t sit down too soon or you could end up speaking to a limited number of people who may not be the people you wanted to speak to. Camille finds it better to mingle for as long as possible and recommends that new networkers shouldn’t be afraid to approach groups of people standing together but should just politely introduce themselves and ask if the group mind them joining.
The Person Behind the Brand
The best networking relationships are the ones where you find a common ground with the people you meet. Even if you end up talking to people who you would initially assume couldn’t do much for you business wise, your or their circumstances can change so they are now helpful to your business or they know people who would be.
A mistake novice networkers make is to attend networking events, collect lots of business cards and do nothing with them. If you have done as Camille advises and spoken to a wide range of people about a wide range of things, you should have plenty of material to strike up a connection with whether that’s on LinkedIn or through an email.
To get yourself in a relaxed frame of mind ready to make a roaring success of your networking, try floatation therapy, massages, yoga classes or infrared sauna sessions at The Float Spa. See www.thefloatspa.co.uk for details and booking or call 01273 933 680.