"Let's meet for coffee." Have you heard those words when you've met someone new at a networking event or business mixer? Is your first thought, "Oh no, they want to pitch me about their business!" If so, you may be reluctant to accept their offer. Perhaps this is one reason you don't find networking fun and easy. Because you're afraid that other people are thinking the same thing when you hand them your business card and offer to "meet for coffee."
Networking should be fun and easy! Here are three tips to help you make your next networking experience fun and easy.
- Ask a fun question! People want to talk about themselves and asking questions gets the ball rolling. Their answers will also tell you a lot about them and their interests. That's very important so you know how you might be able to help them in their business. Try one of these: "What's your favorite way to use Facebook?" or "Do you use Pinterest to find new recipes or fun activities to do?"
- Wear an interesting scarf, tie, or piece of jewelry. Wear something that will catch people's eyes. It might even be a name badge you've had made up that's unique. This is a way to get people to notice you and ask you about your scarf, tie, jewelry, or name badge. Once a conversation is started, networking is easy and fun. Sometimes the hard part is getting a conversation started. Look around and see if anyone else is wearing something interesting and comment on it. It may lead to a great conversation. So give it a try!
- Be the first to ask for their business card. Everyone wants to hand out and collect as many business cards as possible. Though I don't think this should be your number one goal (ask me about that), you'll have more fun and networking will be easier if you don't try to hand out the most business cards you can. You'll end up collecting a bunch anyhow if you ask first for their card. They will be delighted to give you their card and in return will ask for yours. When you ask first, you show that you are interested in them and what they do. It's not all about you!
Those are just three tips for fun and easy networking. There are tons more!
Please share your tips in the comments for fun and easy networking.