Networking can be an awkward thing. After all, everyone compiles somewhere and shares what they do for the sole purpose of getting together to share what they do. It’s forced activity that can come off as somewhat boring, however, what if there was a way to actually make it not only enjoyable but successful as well?
With a little bit of change up in strategy and a willingness to work on your pitch, networking can actually be a great experience. That’s why I’m providing a few helpful tips to consider for your next trip. Check them out below:
Explore The Roads Less Traveled
Perhaps a more unconventional approach (but one that could provide quite a bit of success) is taking your networking beyond just events and possibly drinks afterward. Although it’ll take some gusto, doing something different could be what separates you from the herd, as well as potentially land you a new client.
No matter if it’s day trips from London or knowing the local brewery tour, this is a time to treat someone to an amazing customer experience; which as noted by Vision Critical, is something 89 percent of businesses compete over. And if your firm is looking to be at the top, then offering your networking opportunities as an experience will win over new business every time.
Simplify Your Story
A common mistake in networking that people make is they explain too much too soon, coming off as either needy or not exactly knowing what is their firm can do. According to Statistic Brain, the average attention span comes in at around 8.25 seconds, which is about as long as you have to not only explain what you do but encourage me to ask more. And unfortunately, that latter portion is one that’s going to take some work.
First and foremost, make a habit of trying to be as concise as you can, explaining what your product does in one sentence. For example, the vape company Juul specializes in unique flavors that are discreet to smell. However, if you’re not dealing with a product, but rather a service, then a good practice is to ask more questions than you do explaining. Give a little bit, but make it a concerted effort to try and figure out how your business can help. This strategy will show that you not only have a genuine desire to learn about different firms from all over the world but how your company can expand to them as well.
Another communication aspect that is widely overlooked is being able to provide examples or demos to show people. Believe it or not, even just a sample product can go a long ways in showing progress, as well as what your team is up to. Because as noted by a survey in Hubspot 71 percent of participants felt that a video explained a product better than anything else, and if you don’t have any similar material, then it might be wise to produce some before your next journey.
No matter what assets you currently have, take an objective look at them and ask yourself things like: “Does this really explain what we do without any supplemental materials?”, “Are there any glaring errors?”, “What could be improved?”. This will give you a better gauge on what you might need to reproduce, as well as how to explain your demo to those you’re showing it to. All-in-all, if you’re going to be investing in travel, then having something solid to show is going to be a must.
Make The Most Out Of Face-To-Face Interactions
Finally, if there’s one benefit of traveling, it’s that you have the rare opportunity to create the most face-to-face interactions. These are a clear breadwinner because as according to Ryze, approximately 70 percent of professionals value face-to-face networking over online. Which, if you feel as though you’re slacking on, then it might not be a bad idea to start reconsidering your approach.
If you feel as though you’re lagging in terms of the quality of contacts you’re making, then try reaching out to some folks you know you want to land beforehand. This will help provide familiarity both with you and your product. Additionally, don’t make everything about selling yourself or your company but rather what it’s like to work with you. At the end of the day, all you can really do is be yourself and see what comes about, because trying to force any relationships will make networking more trouble than it’s worth. Plus, this is supposed to be an enjoyable activity, one where you’re not only making new connections but new partners as well.
What are some ways you’ve gotten better at networking on trips? Comment with your insights below!