Networking is a skill requiring a certain amount of grace, confidence and courtesy to do well. Some people are naturals at it. Yet many business professionals are unsure of just how to “work the room” with grace when they attend an event.
Here’s what gracefully working the room includes:
- Keep conversations short to allow connecting with many
- Be positive and courteous to those who interest you and those who don’t
- Graciously terminate conversations
- Be smooth and pleasant as you move from one contact to another
- Leave everyone you meet feeling better because of how you treated and respected them
- Listen and be present to each person you speak with in conversation
Your success is based partly on your attitude and approach, and partly on what you say.
Here are some ready responses that will make you a better networker…that’s assuming you bring a good attitude with you as well:
- “Thanks for your time! Will you excuse me? Someone I promised to meet just arrived.”
- “Hey, there is someone I’d like to introduce you to. Will you follow me?”
- “Great to chat. I’ve got to take a quick break. Hope to see you later.”
- “Well, good to see you. Gotta make sure I get around the room today.”
- “Wish I good chat with you longer, but I promised myself I’d meet lots of people here to today.”
- “You know, I’m sorry to cut you short, but the time here is so limited! We both need to meet others in the room today.”
- “Looks like it’s time for more networking. Thanks for your time.”
- “I’m glad we finally met. Can we talk about this more by phone? I’d like to call you to follow-up.”
- “That’s very interesting. Thanks for sharing. You’ve given me something to think about. Now I have to see if I can catch this person I just saw arrive.”
- “Pleasure to meet you. See you again. I’m going to make the rounds now and will catch you another time.”
In networking like everywhere in life, you’ll meet business professionals you really want to connect with. And others, not so much. Some people you won’t find professional at all, and some you just won’t want to spend your time with.
But, it’s networking! Your impression and your reputation are important, not just to those you like, but to all those you meet. Ideally you want to leave a flowered path behind you full of people who find you gracious and pleasant, not to mention professional and business-like.
Your goal is to connect, be sincere and leave a lasting positive impression with everyone. Having some ready responses will help. It will keep you from fumbling with your words and wondering how to move around the event with ease.
Tell me…which phrase, or two, above is one you’d use? Your favorite “line” so to speak? Love to hear what works for you!