It’s time for one of those corporate meets. The unusual or the occasional types that can lead to a beneficial business relationship or just a strong friendship that who knows might pay out in the future.
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Events like these are numerous in the corporate world, and it is better to be prepared for them. They might range from cocktail parties, dinners, luncheons to simple meetings with an important person on an elevator. We call them Networking opportunities in the Public Relations language.
Here are some tips to always stay at the top of your game depending on whatever event.
Dress the part
“Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of us all?”. We can not over emphasize this point. You need to always package yourself right in order to be taken seriously and for confidence on your part. You would be amazed at the amount of confidence that oozes from a gentleman in a tie or a lady in six feet heels. Of course I am mentioning these as examples because every event requires its own code of dress.
Nothing is as embarrassing as a stunning looking lady or gentleman without content. One should always ensure they stay abreast with the current news. This provides content for small talk. That’s how conversations and probably lasting friendships are made. Two years ago I went for lunch with some friends of a friend. I had never met them before. Turns out, they were in the renewable energy business and were surveying the country for possible setting up office.
As a student, I had just written a speech project on renewable energy. I could have never cared for the green planet cause (I do by the way), but due to my research on the topic, our conversation became so lively. One of the bosses in that organization ended up asking me whether I could work for them should they set up an office in the country.That is the power in research.
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You should never go to a networking event on an empty stomach. You are there for the purpose of meeting new people. I know the urge to gravitate toward the refreshment table is great. Resist the urge and talk to human beings, they don’t bite.
Always have a card holder with you. How you treat people’s business cards says a lot about you. Somebody went through the trouble of investing in their brand by developing their business cards. Handle it with respect and show concern, if it does not interest you, at least there is no harm in feigning interest.
It is a good idea to jot some few notes about the person at the back of the card, so that you remember them. This also helps connect with someone when you make a follow up phone call. People will appreciate if you talk to them from a point of knowing something about them. This you would easily get as you ask about them during the first meeting. Uncle Google also has some great stuff on individuals so make him your friend.
Some people quickly get their wallets and slip the business card in, then return their wallets to their pocket which they end up sitting on. Guess what shape the business card will take. I rest my case.