At this time of year, the diary fills up fast – from small ‘thank you’ parties from a client to catch up meetings before Christmas.
These festive meeting are a great way to catch up with people and can be used to help boost your business in the New Year.
So don’t just go along to get drunk on free wine and nibble the hors d’oeuvres – use them to make connections with people when they’re in a festive and generous mood.
Pick your events
Don’t say yes to every invite, trying to squeeze in 30 minutes at one event, before rushing across town to another. It never works. Choose the meetings you think you’re likely to get the most from. It doesn’t even have to be the event that’ll give you the best leads. It could be the one with your most valuable client.
And if you’ve seen an event you’d like to go to but aren’t invited, try and get an invite. If it’s someone you’ve worked with before, simply send them a request for a meeting on that day – they may well respond by saying they can’t make it but you’re welcome to pop into their party.
This is just a good networking tip. By getting their first, you’ll be the person people come to as you’ll be the only guest. Soon you’ll have a little group chat going and everyone will want to get involved.
But don’t go for the business chat right away – play it cool. Spot who you want to talk to and try and grab a one-on-one chat with them – preferably before they’ve had too much champagne.
Make sure to have your business cards and elevator pitch ready to go.
People will be meeting lots of contacts during these large events, so having a slick and memorable pitch along with your card will help you to stand out from the crowd.
The next day, even if you’re not feeling your best, send a quick email thanking the host for the event and suggesting another meeting early in the New Year.
Specify a date and try and get it into their diary. People will often blindly agree as the New Year seems miles away – but when the day comes around you’ll be ready.
Don’t over-do it
You don’t want to be seen as the Scrooge, counting their coins on Christmas Eve. If people aren’t talking shop don’t try and force it. Just enjoy socialising.
By being friendly and chatty you’ll make stronger relationships and people will start to trust you more.
Posted by Ashleigh Sharp