Networking at Holiday Parties

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You’ve been there before. A room full of people, placed there for the purpose of networking, each trying to grab a moment of each other’s attention in hopes of exchanging business. Add to that the extra layer that you will be doing this several times for corporate holiday parties.... But with tens, or even hundreds of competing voices, how can you stand out?

And with perhaps just a few seconds to spare, how can you generate enough interest to make someone want to follow up with you? As you’d expect, there are quite a few marketing lessons that apply to networking, too.

As such, I’ve got a few great tips to give you more success at these events. Enjoy!

Prepare a 10-second explanation of what you do –At many networking events, you have less than 30 seconds to grab the attention of someone passing by. Can you summarize your business’s point of differentiation in less than 10 seconds? Can you ask a compelling question that will generate interest in your product or service? If you can pack either of these in a single sentence, you’re in great shape. Cut the frills from what you want to say, and reduce it to a compelling statement of what you need to say.

Bring your Energy – Seems simple, right? But if you’ve ever been at a networking event, you know that many people are checking their watches to see when it ends. Not as many are genuinely engaged and eager to meet with the people they encounter. And perhaps more than any product or service that you provide, the best thing you have to sell is yourself. There is no better ambassador for your business than a passionate owner with a compelling story.

Perhaps the biggest takeaway point is this: In networking, our connections are sometimes about business – but they’re always about people.

What tips do you have for being a better networker?