Love ’em or hate ’em, networking meetings and events are part of our (business) lives and at these events you get just one opportunity to make a great first impression. With that being said, how do you introduce yourself and put the networking ball into play?
Here are some ideas to get over that initial hurdle:
- Hi, my name’s Adrian. What brings you to this event?
- Hi, my name’s Adrian. Are you a member of this group?
- Hi, my name is Adrian. This is my first time here. Have you attended before?
- Hi, my name is Adrian. I’ve heard some really good things about this group / this event and I thought I would check it out myself. How about you? Have you been here before?
- Hi, my name is Adrian? I’m new here and I’m trying to meet some of the attendees. What’s your name?
Obviously from that point on, you should be engaged in conversation. Ask them questions about their involvement in the group (assuming they are a member), find out about their business or profession, ask about what other groups they attend and so on.
The key is to take control of the conversation by asking questions and at the same time you’ll be learning important information about your fellow networker.
One last thing, if the person with whom you are conversing doesn’t ask YOU any questions and seems content to simply let you know all about their business, then you might as well move on. Their lack of interest at the very beginning indicates that they will not be a valued networking partner so cut your losses, politely terminate the conversation and seek out other people.
Just because they are at a networking event doesn’t mean that they are a good networker!