Whoo hoo, it’ s the end of another year and it’ s time to celebrate. There will be end of year lunches, breakfasts, cocktail events and parties. This is a perfect time to build relationships and create connections with existing and new contacts. There are 5 tips to remember to ensure you create a great impression and get results.
1. Keep things light & easy
Ok, people are celebrating the end of year and festive season. Everyone wants to feel good and just relax a little. Let them. Do not bring up heavy conversation at these events. You want to be happy, smile and connect. Listen to the other person’ s needs and issues and casually say, where relevant, I know I can help you with that, here’ s my card. Call me tomorrow and I’ ll help you get that sorted by Christmas.
2. Business card backup stash
You’ ll probably be invited to work and social events and you must make sure you have cards available. Stash a spare box in the glove box of your car. Also, give a few to your partner/spouse and even give a few to your work colleagues attending the event. If you run out of cards, you have backup options. Remember, many people will not remember party conversation, they will however, look at the cards they received from the event the next day and that will trigger their memory about their conversation with YOU.
3. Stay sober for most of it !
When most people get relaxed, they say what they feel. Ideally you want people to talk to you in a relaxed state of mind as they are more likely to tell you what they think, feel and what they want. This is great for understanding customer needs and identifying leads and sales. If you, on the other hand have too much to drink, you may say what you think, feel or want and/or do something that is inappropriate, rude or worse. Know your limit of not being clear headed and only drink half of that. Remember, business networking events are NOT the place to let loose and be a goose.
4. Eat well or eat before
You will eat well at dinners and lunches, so you can relax the food is coming to you in a few courses at least. Cocktail events and parties are the hardest for food as the trays seem to come around infrequently and when they do everyone is starving. Refrain from grabbing handfuls of food and stuffing your face by eating before you go to the event, or plan to eat a meal after. That way, you won’ t be ravenous and you’ ll also be able to focus on the conversation with the people at the event rather than eagle eyeing the waiting staff.
5. Share a cab
Sharing a cab with a colleague or client after an event is a great way to network. Offer to share a cab with anyone waiting at the cab rank. Don’ t pressure people to come with you, again, make the invitation casual and open. Even if you have to go out of your way a little bit to drop your co-passenger to their destination, you’ ll get a fabulous opportunity to build on the connection as well as save money on the fare and, if you’ve been drinking, stay safe.
Happy holidays !