When you are making a big push to get yourself recognized and make sure that everyone in your city knows your business ideas, mixers and networking meetings are essential. Many of the people at these events already feel a bit intimidated, and the mood can feel rushed and stressful. Statistics tell marketers that 90 percent of people really do feel put on the spot and shy at these types of functions, and it really happens at a time when you need to be at peak presentation level. Just as in any business environment, if you act truly hungry for your next deal and appear as if you are rushing through the motions without a personal touch, you will appear subpar.
There is so much to gain from networking meetings and mixers, but at many of them, everyone falls short and only a few get the “lion’s share” of business leads, opportunities, and chances to get more revenue. If you use the perfect formula of telling what your business is all about, listening well to other’s ideas, and listening to success stories, you can glean very valuable experience and ideas from a mixer or large marketing gathering. Just as in other arenas of business life, people are apt to stealing energy, and you have to be ready for just about anything. Here are some tips to maximize your mixer visit, and come out of it feeling ahead and ready to nurture new connections.
Act as if you are hosting
If you can master truly making the patrons feel as if they are welcome instead of just being sold everything that they have already seen, you will reap the benefits right away. Really making the other visitors feel as if you are a concierge of sorts it can allow them to open up easier, and you will gain headway with the contacts a lot better than tooting your own horn. It’s an art form in itself, but if you can make the others feel as if you are a portal to their next good contact instead of a salesman, the good things will come in multiples.
Focusing on comforting instead of questioning
In some situations, only a few interrogations will do. A mixer is one of them, as people who have an idea or run a business may not feel good about feeling on trial as far as their idea tank is concerned. When the time is right, successful entrepreneurs love being asked about their background, opportunities, and ways they feel they are getting ahead. If you are good at reading body language and someone is shying away from you, just thank them for being there and let them know that you hope they make good connections. A lot of people can tend to feel overloaded in a pressure cooker scenario.
Look for open and closed groups
Reading messages from body language is crucial at mixers, and you can actually narrow the patrons down to a few different kinds of tribes, or groups. If two people are already facing each other and looking at each other dead on, that is an “established” group of communication that you do not want to interrupt. You can literally see if two are standing at a 45-degree angle that they may be interested in each other, but have not yet formed a closed communication. If you notice someone that you really want to talk to that is already in a closed group, simply wait. When you approach them, let them know you understand how valuable their time is and that you have something of value to bring to the table. Knowing current events and their recent successes will always help you gain clout right away and cut to the valuable chase at hand.
Plan a few viable targets in advance
When an event gets to be a certain size and you are already flooded with busy tasks, it’s going to seem of great advantage to seek out a few attendees in advance. Locals who have already had some success, people who are somehow dialed into the culture of startups, and consultants will all be valuable conversational targets. The more success someone has had, the less time they may have to talk to attendees, so make a beeline for them, let them know they impress you and let them know why you want to talk to them. Have business cards that are above average, with a modern and sleek design and all your contact info ready.
Etiquette and gathering contacts
When a great prospect or successful entrepreneur hands you a card, the last thing you want to do is put it right in your purse or organizer right away. If the prospect sees you looking at their card for a bit longer than the last person they handed it to, your budding interest will make an impression. If you ever make a promise to complete a task or promote someone in you are talking to, when they see you write it down on their card it will strike a chord that lets them know you are serious about doing business. Mixers are prime events to meet like-minded folks, make contacts for the future, and stand out for what you create or accomplish. Even if the atmosphere is a bit rushed and you feel your skills are nominal, you can link up with individuals here that may change your life, income, and outlook forever.