Ho Ho Ho – it’s the holiday season and all the holiday parties, events, and family visits provide some of the best networking opportunities of the entire year!
To help you make the most of your holiday season cocktail parties, gatherings and events, here are the 7 tips you’ll need to succeed:
1) Say Yes to all those Parties and Events!
Well, maybe not to everything, but if you’re looking to fill your pipeline with new people, you’ll meet them at everything from the neighborhood open house to the office party, as well as those special holiday business networking events. Be selective and choose the ones where you feel you can make the best connections for your business.
Attending holiday events is also a good way to follow-up with the people you already know, such as your clients, business acquaintances, associates, referral partners, and friends and family.
2) Host a Holiday Party
Have an open house at your home, or host a party at a bar or restaurant. This is a great way to reach out and reconnect with people in your network.
3) Be Prepared for Each Event You Attend
Be ready to clearly and concisely tell people what you do and who you do it for, have a prepared introduction that rolls off your tongue. And don’t forget your business cards! And while you’re at it, bring your calendar and a pen so you can schedule follow-up meetings in the moment.
4) Ask for Introductions
Know who you want to meet and don’t be afraid to ask your friends, relatives, and old and new acquaintances for introductions.
5) Prepare some questions to get the conversation going
“How do you know the host/hostess?”
“Who do you know at this event?”
“What has been the highlight of your year?”
“How’s the family?”
“What plans do you have for next year?”
“How was business this year?”
“What kinds of clients are you looking for these days?”
(Be prepared to answer these questions as well!)
6) Talk about something other than business
In building relationships, which is what networking is all about, you want to get to know people on a personal level, as well as a professional level. Take advantage of the holidays to relax and socialize and get to know people a little better.
7) Focus on other people
Listen at least as much as you talk. It’s better to err on the side of listening too much rather than talking too much about yourself and your business.
8) Have fun but don’t eat or drink too much!
It’s the holidays, so relax and enjoy yourself. It’s fine to have a good time, but you don’t need to be the life of the party. Act like a professional at all times.
You never know who you’ll meet or where you’ll meet them. The holidays provide plenty of opportunities to meet up with great connections, new and old.