Decided to invest your time in networking eh? Clever clogs. Well, deciding to do it is the first step. Seems like quite an easy task. You just rock up to some classy venue, have a few canapés, grab yourself a cup of coffee (or a cheeky glass of wine).
You have a casual and confident glimpse around the room to eye up your first ‘business bait’. Few triangular groups of people, few foursomes, spot anyone you know who you could use as your excuse to ease into their conversation? No? Now what do you do?
To some again this may seem like an easy task but if you have been to a few of these mingle-and-chat events you’ll know it’s not always that simple to join others.
Do you hover slightly outside the circle?
Do you just barge in saying, “Sorry to interrupt, my name is Bob!”?
These are potential clients you’re approaching; you’re going to want to remember your networking-manners!
“What are the networking-manners???” you’re simply dying to find out aren’t you? Well us Thrivette’s recommend keeping cool, calm and collected; approach the group with confidence but don’t be arrogant! Hovering just a smidge behind your chosen group is probably the best way to go. If someone in that group is speaking, you don’t want to rudely interrupt them, so wait until they finish.
Maintain eye contact. Ola recommends “Not in a creepy way.”
Remember that each and every one of them in that room is there for the exact same reason you are; the free wine.
Don’t be silly, of course they’re not there for the free wine!
They are there to meet new people, they are there to meet you. 99% of the time they will all be respectable human beings who understand there is someone invading their personal space which will distract them from the person talking and they will swiftly let you in as it is far too uncomfortable having you hang around unintroduced. Voila, simple.
However, if you are the unfortunate soul surrounded by the 1% of non-respectable human beings, they won’t let you in and you’ll have to come back and try again next time.
– Emma Taylor
Twitter Handle: Emma4Thrive