Fortune favours the brave when networking. So we have compiled some ‘go-to’ conversation starters to help you start meeting and connecting with industry.
But first of all, why is networking important?
- Networking helps you meet your industry peers (and superiors) that can potentially help and support you.
- By attending events, conferences and seminars you are given an opportunity to meet people that you may never have met through your day-to-day work routine but that may be able to help you in your career and business.
- The most important part of networking is to be yourself. People will value your honesty and will be more likely to want to stay in touch with you, help you out, and introduce you to other people in their networks.
- And remember to follow up and stay in touch with any new contacts via LinkedIn or email – build on your connection with them.
The below 5 questions may seem obvious but having these opening lines on hand will help calm your nerves when you decide to walk up to a stranger and start talking:
- I don't know many people here, so I thought I'd introduce myself.
- What do you do for work?
- What brought you to this event?
- What are your thoughts on the presentation?
- I'm not good at networking but thought I'd push my comfort zone and introduce myself.
Remember that networking is about getting to know a person, not what a person can do for you. Your networks will be more valuable and have greater longevity if you are not constantly asking people to do things for you. So continue building on business connections with mutual respect before asking for any kind of assistance.