Good networking and socializing is a prerequisite for most of the business professionals. An informal meeting or chats go a long way in developing potential business partners or clients. But there are a lot amongst us who are mortally afraid to go out and network with people outside their offices and home.
But do not worry. These are not the skills which we are born with. These soft skills can be cultivated with proper practice and can be learned and polished.
Small talk or socializing as it is popularly known as helps to establish connections and to determine commonalities, an integral part of doing business in some cultures. Therefore, follow the below mentioned tips to overcome your fear of meeting people.
1. It is important to understand the basic nuances of starting and facilitating introductions that help to generate conversation. The basic rule is to talk about other people’s interest rather than your own and this can be done by asking the right questions. These questions should be framed in such a way that they further the discussion in a meaningful way.
2. Thus the second rule is to be prepared. It is important that you know some background about the other person and thus it helps to be prepared for such meetings in advance especially if you are a newcomer and are struggling to establish yourself in the field.
3. Knowing how to work the room so you meet the people you came to see is a proficiency that will serve you well in all areas of your professional and personal life. A good conversationalist can always get more from the interaction and can effectively turn the conversation towards his interest.
4. It is a good idea to keep yourself abreast of current happening in and around the world or the news and events concerning your area of business. That gives you something to talk about as you start the conversation. Once the ice is broken, you can gradually move on to topics that are upper most in your mind.
5. Spontaneity and sincerity should reflect in your manners and conversation. Though it is good to be prepared in advance by knowing who is coming to an event, faking an interest cannot really take you anywhere. You need to be genuinely interested in the other people and their interests. Only then, will they take you seriously. This is especially important as everyone meets many new people in such events and it is difficult for them to remember all of them. So, unless you have made a good impression, you are most likely to be forgotten the very next day.
6. Another thing to remember is that even if you have made a good impression but you do not follow it up, the other person is most likely to forget you. So, the key to successful networking is timely and consistent follow-up. Meeting someone once is not going to bring you business or make other person want to help you unless you change that meeting point to something more personal contact by following and keeping in touch regularly.
7. Social skills give high-tech entrepreneurs a big advantage in today's fast-paced world, where you may have only a minute to make a good impression. Network groups are a great way to meet new prospects, build business relationships, and market your products or services. People who belong to network groups are there because they want to learn more about your business and share their own interests with you. So, there is no point in fearing rejection at such events. Be confident and act natural and allow yourself to freely mix with other people and enjoy yourself.