The winter holidays are a networker’s paradise! November and December are prime season for planting yourself on decision makers’ radar screens and nurturing relationships. It’s a wonderland of fresh prospects and a harvest of contact renewals to connect with key players in your industry. The many corporate events, social occasions, and community celebrations offer myriad opportunities to establish connections, strengthen ties, invigorate relationships, and share ideas.
Maximize Your Face Time
Almost any neighborhood, family, or business gathering may produce a conversation with someone who has information you can mine unobtrusively for leads to new career challenges for yourself and those you know – reasons for more networking!
With so many venues to choose from, be sure to attend the ones where you’re most likely to reach your networking goals: a high probability for face time with individuals who should know about your potential value proposition, unique talents, and interest in taking on new challenges. These encounters could be your big break to chat with current or former employees at your target companies, exchange business cards with an industry leader, or arrange a future meeting with someone difficult to reach.
Prepare Your Pitch
Want to enhance your networking efficiency to generate even better results? Prepare thoroughly in advance! Before you attend an event, prepare a mental list of questions you could be asked and have well thought-out and concise responses ready.
Be prepared to make clear, compelling points that will attract attention, pique curiosity, and put you top of mind. Your delivery has to be memorable to overcome the event’s interruptions and to compensate for a lack of privacy.
To further increase your networking effectiveness, focus your efforts on gatherings where you will feel most comfortable and will be able to put your best foot forward. Avoid situations where you might be stressed, rushed, or otherwise distracted from your networking mission. You want to have meaningful conversations that leave a positive impression while picking up insider-only knowledge. Keep in mind networking isn’t just about you and the connections you make. Part of your goal should be to connect those you know to each other.
Remember, the most important thing is to stay focused. You’ll need to be alert and attuned to reap the full benefits of networking purposefully. Don’t overindulge in food or beverages. Conduct yourself professionally at all times.
The ROI is simple: just one meaningful dialogue creates measurable value from every networking event. It’s the quality not the quantity of the relationships you develop that’s important.
Happy holidays and happy networking!