Most working professionals have visited a networking event or two during their career and it’s the perfect chance to meet new, exciting people and share ideas. Every day there are hundreds of these (in)formal professional meetings in London, Berlin, and across the globe.
To be successful it’s important to talk to new people, introduce yourself, start an interesting conversation, and be concrete and clear in your projects and ambitions. However, this can sometimes be a bit of a daunting challenge, especially if you’re just starting out on your entrepreneurial journey.
At eLab (Entrepreneur Lab) by CIEE, our goal is to empower emerging entrepreneurs from around the world by helping them develop a global business perspective, experience meaningful cultural exchange, and build a powerful network of industry experts, founders, mentors, and investors.
Meeting the right people at the right time can help you propel your business to success faster and during our program, we focus on facilitating these connections and relationships. In order to get a jump start, here are five useful tips on networking from the experts at eLab:
1. BE CONFIDENT. Trust in yourself and trust in your business. Realize that there is nobody better than you to promote your company in this highly demanding professional world.
2. BE AS NATURAL AS POSSIBLE. In a bid to impress others, you may cross the line and sound too artificial or forced. Do your best to stay focused, calm and relaxed, while still being genuinely excited to pitch your ideas and business.
3. DON’T FORGET YOUR BUSINESS CARD / CONNECT ON LINKEDIN. It seems so obvious that you’re going to keep in touch with this new contact if you find the right connection, but you can lose them from one moment to the next, so, be direct in sharing your contact details as soon as possible!
4. LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN. Sometimes you can be so focused on your own personal goals that you fail to pay attention to the people you’re trying to connect with. When you listen to other ideas or views, you learn, you understand, and you grow. To consider the other side, do you think you would go into business with someone who doesn’t listen to you? Definitely not, so be sure to listen and engage with your new contact.
5. DON’T BE AFRAID TO START THE CONVERSATION. Someone has to take the initiative, so why not you? As an entrepreneur, you are the main representative and promoter for your business, so proudly approach new people and let them know about what you’ve created and achieved so far and where you plan on heading next.
Ready to put these tips into practice? Then eLab is here to help! Join us at one of our upcoming events to test out your networking skills or check out our Why eLab Page to learn more about how our program can lead you towards the path to startup success.