Networking never stops in Acadiana. From Christmas parties to Mardi Gras parades, Crawfish boils to festival season, there is always an opportunity to network. Whether you are looking for a job or a new client, networking the right way will increase your chances of success. Utilize these helpful tips to get the most out of your conversations.
- Ask for an introduction. People are more likely to be open to strangers if introduced through a friend. Don’t be shy! Ask your friends and family to introduce you to their network; they might not know the CEO, but there is a good chance they know someone who does! (Or knows someone who knows someone…) Social gatherings provide a casual, low stress environment where friends can introduce you to their network; tag along!
- Let them do the talking. When meeting someone you need to impress, it is tempting to ramble about your qualifications. Let them do the talking instead; people love to talk about themselves! In a recent Harvard study, researchers found that “…a strong and direct correlation between asking questions and likeability.” Ask questions about their career path, company culture, or hobbies. Use their name a few times in conversation; it will harbor a feeling of familiarity.
- Follow Up. Find a reason to follow up (and get their business card!) Remember details about your conversation, and reference back to them in a follow up email or text. Maybe you spoke about your shared hobby of fishing and found an exciting article about bass fishing you’d like to share; maybe you spoke about the housing market and saw an interesting news segment about the topic. Whatever it is, keep it short, polite, and reiterate how much you enjoyed meeting them! Always remember to say thank you. This one should be obvious!
- Take a risk.Networking can be intimidating, but it has huge payoff. Take a risk and reap the rewards! Apply to be a speaker at a conference, raise your hand to be a volunteer during lectures, and be the first person to break the ice!
We hope these tips make your next networking event a breeze. Don’t have a networking event coming up? Join us at our upcoming Business After Hours at Acadia Parish Farm Bureau on May 22, 2019!