As a small business owner, I have been invited to attend several networking events hosted by local Chambers of Commerce and because of these events, I have even joined a few of them, most recently the New Castle County Chamber of Commerce.
These networking events are very beneficial to small business owners especially to those that are newly established and are seeking new clients or are trying to make the right connections.
However, networking as a newbie can be scary because your nerves often get the best of you making you feel awkward in an unfamiliar situation.
Here are 7 tips that I have found to be helpful as a networking newbie.
- Make sure your name badge is securely adhered or clipped to your lapel right side up! Trying to read your name or business upside down is frustrating and somewhat embarrassing.
- When you enter the room, smile then head straight to to the bar or refreshment table – and no, not for a bottle of beer or a glass of wine…just for a small glass of water or soda to hold and then use it as a prop – hold off on drinking any alcohol until later if at all.
- Scan the room looking around to find someone else standing alone, then calmly walk over to them still smiling;
- Greet the person with a firm handshake, but make sure your palms are dry, especially if using the hand that held your glass of water or soda!
- Hand him/her your business card
6.Introduce yourself using your well-rehearsed elevator speech, who you are and what service you provide or problem that you solve for customers and clients
- Take a sip of your drink as this will provide an opening for him/her to introduce themselves while you take a breather to listen
Bonus: I like taking selfies or usies because it’s a great way to be remembered and to also get more followers on your social media platform especially when you tell them that you will be posting it on your Facebook page.
If you are interested in attending a New Castle County Chamber of Commerce event with me, please send an email to ablake48@gmail dot com. We have a lot of fun activities throughout the year and I would love for you to attend as my guest or even become a member.
Let’s Chat: what do you do to break the ice in new situations or at networking events?