Here at Nexus Networking, we pride ourselves on providing a professional networking space for our members. We know networking etiquette like the back of our hands and we’d like to share some pointers with you, 101.
1. One person at a time
One of the biggest faux pas at a networking event is when someone can’t focus on the conversation in front of them. Repeatedly scanning the room whilst you’re engaged in conversation with someone is not a recipe for a trustworthy business connection. What this conveys is that you’re already looking for the next person to talk to, presumably to say exactly the same thing you’ve just said to the person in front of you. A lot of trust is founded upon eye contact. If you can’t focus on what I’m saying to you, why should I do business with you?
2. Know how to describe your business to others
If there’s one thing that people get annoyed at whilst networking, it’s someone who hasn’t come prepared to discuss their ideas. Half-baked thoughts don’t inspire people. That’s why coming prepared with a pithy statement ready in order to describe your business is handy for both you and the person you’re talking to. This is what’s known as an ‘elevator pitch’, so-called because it should be short enough to say in the time it would take you to enter and exit an elevator. Practising this will force you to think about how to sell your business to others. It also makes networking flow much easier.
3. It’s about opportunities, not selling
One of the biggest benefits of business networking that we covered in our previous blog post related to the word ‘opportunity’. A lot of people misjudge networking as a matter of taking, not giving. What these people don’t understand is that going to a networking event with the intention to make a sale is considered a faux pas in many instances. You’re not there to make a sale; you’re there to build business relationships. That means treating each conversation as a possible goldmine. Who knows what could come from each one.
4. One hand for food, one hand for handshakes
This is a picky one, but hear us out. More often than not there’ll be a selection of food being served at a networking event: hors d’oeuvres, bruschetta, cold cuts – nibbles. Along with this comes handling food, which doesn’t mix well with handshakes. That’s why, as per networking etiquette 101, you should always use one hand for food and one hand for handshaking. This stops the spread of germs – and disgruntled faces.
5. Be human
A lot of people overthink networking. Although we are discussing the ‘rules’ of networking, we’ll let you in on a secret: A lot of networking etiquette isn’t about remembering what you should and shouldn’t do; instead, it relates to basic manners and social intelligence. That means no walking up to groups of people and interrupting their conversations. That means no oversized egos. In short, be human. At a networking event, we’re trying to connect with like-minded people, not spreadsheets that can walk and talk. We’ll leave that for business hours.
In need of a network?
Here at Nexus Networking, we take managing and utilising business connections seriously. The benefits of professional networking are undeniable, and Nexus Networking makes every effort to ensure these benefits are had by all our members.
Our weekly meetings take place across three separate groups based in Brentwood, Chelmsford, and Colchester, respectively.
If you’re in need of a network, join us for a free meeting by clicking here and applying as a visitor through our website. Or, if you would like more information on Nexus as a whole, visit our website on www.nexusnetworking.co.uk, email any questions you may have to firstname.lastname@example.org, or give us a call on 01206 588 000.