Part of your role in a professional services firm may be to attend events to network and win new business. Many will be entirely comfortable with this prospect and throw themselves into every event. For others, the prospect of entering a room full of people they do not know can be a little more daunting.
theGrogroup has produced its top tips for networking to try to help lawyers and accountants feel more comfortable and help them network more effectively:
- Make sure the event will be worthwhile – thoroughly research the most appropriate events to ensure the prospects or people you wish to meet will be attending
- Try to get an attendee list in advance so you can do prior research on the companies and individuals attending so that you can try to talk to them during the event
- Look on LinkedIn and see who you know that knows them (you may be able to get a warm intro)
- At the event try not to make a bee line for people you know and remain in their company – always try to make one new introduction
- Stand in an open ‘circle’ so others feel welcome to join your group
- Remember your ‘lift speech’, a one sentence intro about what how your firm helps their clients
- Be friendly and don’t always talk business – get to know their hobbies, interests and family names
- Remember to swap business cards
- After the event, send a follow up email, and if desired, agree a follow up meeting
- Above all have fun – meeting new people should be exciting and enjoyable!
Networking is something many of us fear, but it’s invaluable for making contacts and creating opportunities in the world of work. There’s a lot of ‘the better the devil you know’ in business and widening your network exposes you to people who – when next looking for an employee, or a consultant, or to do business – are a lot more likely to sift through their contact list than turn blindly to Google. Knowing more people also makes you more value to your clients as you may also be able to introduce your contacts to them and help them win new business too!
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