Networking remains an integral process for professionals looking to advance their careers.
Today, technology such as email and social media have made communication and interactions easier by allowing quicker and easier ways to maintain contact with useful connections. However, the power of face-to-face meetings should not be underestimated for fostering useful personal connections, especially in a relationship-focused business environment.
By setting up personal meetings, you can show the other party a genuine interest in taking time out of your schedule to engage with them. Here are some ways to build face to face networking skills.
Communicating with confidence
Confidence is an attractive skill and will go a long way when it comes to conducting productive conversations. It also helps reflect your belief in your ability and knowledge giving you a better chance in achieving your desired outcomes.
The power of face-to-face meetings should not be underestimated for fostering useful personal connections, especially in a relationship-focused business environment.
Have a clear purpose
It is important to go into meetings with a clear purpose in mind. Not only will it help you focus on what you want to achieve at the end of the meeting, but having a clear purpose will also allow you to set measurable targets and goals. For example, if you are attending a regional conference, set a goal to speak to five new contacts from outside your division in order to build stronger relationships throughout your company.
Positive body language
Body language has a major influence on how you communicate, by being aware of your body language you will be able to effectively communicate and understand people better. It is important to appear open and approachable so people feel comfortable and want to engage with you. Positive body language can help with face-to-face scenarios such as first impressions. These small things can have a significant impact with generally complex situations such as interviews and negotiations.
Genuinely listening and responding to the person you are meeting with can show them you are taking the time to find out what they are truly saying and are interested in, instead of mainly talking at a person. Having a discussion can be less overwhelming for both parties and will result in a more productive outcome.
Prior research into the people or event you are attending will help you feel more confident and comfortable. It is good to think of relevant non-business related topics you can discuss during your meeting for a more relaxed and comfortable conversation.
Your attitude and energy can be easily sensed and affect the mood of the people you are meeting with. In any business environment the least popular people are usually negative or constantly complaining. Having a positive enthusiastic attitude will help convey a positive impression on your work ethic and personality.
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