Holiday Season Networking : Learn How to Make It Work For You
'Unless we make Christmas an occasion to share our blessings, all the snow in Alaska won't make it white.'
Tis the Season to be Jolly
Have you considered hosting a holiday party for your business network and associates?
Hosting a holiday party can mean more than relaxing over drinks and food with your co-workers and clients.
Holding parties can help bring entrepreneurs a new way to network with others and grow strong relationships. The majority of business owners think that networking can only be done successfully if you utilize the traditional methods like business referral groups or participating in local Chamber of Commerce events.
Think about it though, how much more easier it is to open up to a new contact while enjoying times at a holiday party? This type of social event is no pressure, allowing you to network with those people who are outside of your business. At these parties you can share a friendly conversation and easily introduce yourself to a new contact.
In order to get the most out of using the holiday party for networking, try to keep a few of these things in mind:
Take the Time to Be Prepared
Just because it is a more informal type party, don't head over there without doing the same type of preparation you would for any other networking event.
Take the time to try and learn all the names of the people who will be at the holiday party that you want to speak with. Take a little time getting familiar with their job title and some of the recent accomplishments that they have made. Social media is a great platform to be able to learn more details about a person in the shortest amount of time. Usually the Facebook or LinkedIn profile will give you all the information you need to be able to strike up an intelligent conversation and break the ice at the party.
Asking Better Questions
Take your lead by asking them questions that focus on them first, allowing you to easily work your way to more important issues later.
Start with questions like, How did you get involved with that company? What were the biggest challenges you had to overcome? What one quality would you say was able to help you to succeed as great as you have?
Remember, when you ask better questions, you get better answers.
Having Relevant Topics Ready
Each executive that is at the party is already thinking how to increase profits next season. Have a unique idea that you think could increase profits in that industry ready to toss out there at the right time. Introduce the information in a casual way, but don't go into too much detail.
Give them the chance to think about what you said, and if they think it could help them down the road, they have your business card now in their pocket.
This is a holiday party, and most guests are relaxing with alcoholic drinks after a long year of hard work. Don't get caught up in that; just grab a juice or water.
Approaching new potential clients is all about first impressions!
Stay Confident and Positive
Tell yourself before the party that everyone there is just like you, there to have fun and relax. Remind yourself of all the accomplishments you made this year, and try to weave them into any conversations.
The Party is Just The Beginning
This holiday party should not be the last time that you speak to this business contact.
Your goal here is to spark up a conversation, and somehow leave the door open for future communications. Think of creative ways that you can follow up with the potential client at a later time. The endgame is to eventually meet with this person again one-on-one where you can discuss business on a more professional level.
This is a party remember, so try to balance the line of fun and professionalism, all the while looking for ways to connect with this person again.
Follow a few of these unique networking strategies at your next party and your customer base should start growing nicely next year.
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