Six Tips for Networking

Whether you love it or hate it, networking is essential in creating brand awareness for your business or organization. People love doing business with people they like, know, and trust.
I’m Amy Richardson, the president and founder of Richardson Professional Solutions, or RPS.

We are a small business based in Augusta, GA that helps other small businesses, non-profits, and family estates across the country make time for what matters most by handling their back-office tasks. Here at RPS, we consider ourselves lifelong learners and we love sharing that knowledge back to our community. So today we are going to share something we learned here recently and that is 6 effective ways to network and create brand awareness.

1.       When networking, Don’t Sell – The purpose of the event is to meet people, not sell your business. If someone seems interested in knowing more, get their contact information and do a follow-up the next day.
2.       Maintain your cold drink with your left hand – You will be shaking a lot of hands, so maintaining your drink with your left hand will keep your right hand clean, available, and warm for shaking hands during the event.
3.       Know your elevator speech – People will ask you about your company and your role. Add a little sparkle by not simply explaining what your company does, but how you solve problems for your customers.
4.       Repeat the person’s name that you just met – When meeting someone new repeat their name back to them, “Very nice to meet you, Bob,” this will increase the likelihood that you will remember their name. Increase that chance by making eye contact while doing so, to register the name with the face. This leads me to-
5.       Maintain eye contact – It can be frustrating to talk to someone and watch their eyes scan the room instead of being engaged with you. Maintaining eye contact is good manners. If you are looking out for someone, make that known, so that the person you are talking to doesn’t feel ignored. And lastly-
6.       Break into a group politely – If you see a group you are interested in talking to, don’t approach and immediately being speaking. This can be rude, and you might be interrupting. Instead, step up, smile, and make eye contact with one or two people. When there is an appropriate pause, then you can introduce yourself. I love doing a related exercises in workshops demonstrating posture and arrangement of groups related to approachability. Reach out to me if you’d like to know more, I am happy to share.
Word of mouth is the strongest, most traditional, and easiest form of marketing, so getting your name and company out there is key. Networking is one of the best ways to do this, so use these tips to up your game next time you work a room.

Amy Richardson of Richardson Professional Solutions, helping you make time for what matters.

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