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According to a study by human resources consulting firm Lee Hecht Harrison, 85% of job positions are filled through networking. In an industry where connections are crucial, effectively managing networking at events can make the difference between advancing your career or getting stuck. Networking goes beyond simply exchanging business cards; it is the art of establishing and maintaining contacts that can open doors to future collaborations, mentoring and career support.

A CRM like Pipedrive can be very helpful in this process, making it easy to manage and track your connections efficiently.

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Here are some practical and specific tips to maximize networking at your upcoming events:

1. Advance preparation and connection

Research the participants who will be attending the event and clearly state your objectives. What do you hope to accomplish? Who would you like to connect with? Take business cards with you and perfect your elevator pitch that not only presents who you are, but also what makes you unique in your field. This speech can help you stand out from the crowd and leave a lasting impression. In addition, having a list of prepared questions will help you start conversations more effectively and show genuine interest in others.

Getting to know your attendees beforehand can make a big difference. If the event has a guest list available, review it and take note of the people you’d like to talk to. Do a little research about them on LinkedIn and connecting with them to initiate digital contact can help you have future interactions and demonstrate your interest. This prior knowledge will allow you to approach with confidence and create more meaningful connections.

2. Take care of your presentation

Take care of your appearance and demeanor, maintaining an open and friendly posture. Introduce others to conversations and show a genuine interest in meeting people. Remember that first impact is crucial, so be sure to convey a professional and approachable image. A firm greeting, genuine smile and positive body language can open many doors at these events.

Dress according to the type of event and make sure your attire is professional and appropriate. It is also important to keep in mind that at many events, alcohol is served to help break the ice and make conversations flow more easily. However, it is important to consume in moderation. Stay in control and make sure your behavior remains professional at all times. Excessive drinking can lead to uncomfortable situations and negatively affect the impression you leave on others.

3. Be proactive and expert

Becoming an expert means more than just having in-depth knowledge; it also means continually keeping up with the latest trends, research and technologies in your industry. This can be achieved through continuing education, attending seminars and conferences, and actively participating in professional communities. Sharing your knowledge by publishing articles, giving talks or webinars, and contributing to online forums are also ways to establish your reputation as an expert.

Proactivity must go hand in hand, as it is not enough to know a lot about a topic if you do not use that knowledge effectively. Being proactive means identifying opportunities and taking initiative without being asked. In the professional context, this can translate into proposing new projects that benefit your company, suggesting improvements to existing processes or getting ahead of problems before they escalate.

4. Offer help

Offering help at networking events is an effective strategy for strengthening relationships and building a positive reputation. Acting as a connector, sharing helpful resources, offering your expertise and practicing active listening are practical ways to show generosity and professionalism. Being proactive in helping others not only enhances your network, but also establishes you as a valuable and trusted resource in your industry. By focusing on the needs of others first, you create opportunities for future collaborations and leave a lasting impression of your willingness and abilities.

For example, if during a conversation you discover that one person is looking for a specific service or skill that another attendee offers, take the initiative to introduce them. By doing so, you not only help both of you leverage your networks, but you also position yourself as influential and collaborative within your professional community.

5. Implementa un CRM para un seguimiento eficaz

During the event, have a CRM application available on your mobile device. This tool can be very useful for quickly identifying attendees already in your database. When you meet someone, a quick query in the CRM can reveal key information that will allow you to engage in a conversation with context and depth.

Practical example: Imagine you’re at an event and you see a booth of a company you’re interested in. Before approaching, check the CRM on your cell phone to see if you have contacts at that company. If you find someone, check details such as their role and last interactions. Reach out and ask for that person to start a conversation. This approach increases the chances of a positive interaction.

After the event, use the CRM to organize and update the contacts you have made. Set reminders to send follow-up emails, make calls or send information that may be relevant to your new contacts. This will help you maintain and strengthen your connections, ensuring that you never miss a potential prospect.

7. Send a thank you email

Finally, after the event, do not forget to send a thank you email to the people you connected with. A brief but personalized message can strengthen the relationship and keep you in the minds of your new contacts. Thank them for their time, mention something specific from your conversation and express your interest in keeping in touch. This polite gesture can open the door to future collaborations and opportunities.

You have it all!

So now you know… Networking events are much more than just social gatherings; they are strategic opportunities to build strong relationships that can propel your career or business forward. By following these tips, you will be better equipped to make the most of every networking event you attend. Remember, effective networking is not just about collecting business cards, it is about making meaningful connections that can benefit you in the long run. And to effectively manage all those relationships and opportunities, tools like Pipedrive can be critical to your networking and professional growth strategy.

By the way: We have spoken to Pipedrive and they have offered us a 30-day free trial for our readers, plus a 20% discount on the first year from the link below:

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