Networking can be tough. People tell me, “I feel like I’m imposing.” or “I’m shy. I won’t know anyone there.” or “I hate to sound like I’m begging.”
All right, stop right there! Networking does not have to be a party of one! If you have a networking event coming up, bring a friend. Here are some tips, when you share the load:
1. Plan your networking goals prior to the event. For example, you can decide who you wish to meet at each event together or you can set a goal to each meet three new people. That means there will be six new connections for you both at the end of the event.
2. Craft your sound bites or elevator pitches together and rehearse them before you go to the event. This instills confidence.
3. Introduce your friend first, then introduce yourself. This tactic helps alleviate any awkwardness, because you didn’t have to go first.
4. Do you see a small group having a conversation? Break the ice with your friend and join in the conversation.
5. Each of you can sit at a different table during the meal portion of the event. Then you can meet up later and share the new connections – and of course you can take action at the event using tip No. 2.
And finally, you can share your ideas on how you will follow up with each new person you met during the event. Then take action!
Want more networking tips? Click here to check out Rock Your Network.