How to Network Effectively in Person
There are many opportunities to network with others in person, whether it’s at specific networking events or at any event or gathering. While some people find in-person networking more difficult than online networking, it can be an extremely powerful way of connecting with others. Below are a few steps for connecting with others through in-person networking.
Find Common Ground – While finding common ground is important for all forms of networking, in-person networking often presents more time to talk about common interests. Using the time together in person to build rapport and connection can go a long way in maintaining the relationship once you are communicating through email or other digital mediums.
Elevator Pitch – After building rapport, the next step is to explain who you are and what your organization is trying to accomplish. Practice an “elevator pitch,” a thirty second summary of your organization and the work that it does. This allows you to introduce your organization in a concise, engaging manner, which helps build interest in your company and lays the foundation for future collaboration.
Listen – While it is important to talk about your own organization, it is also crucial to listen to the person you are speaking with. Attentive listening is key for building relationships, and networking is a form of building a relationship. Ask questions that allow the other person to speak about themselves and their organization, and actively listen as they speak.
Plan to Follow Up – Always set a concrete plan for following up after meeting in person. Exchange email addresses or phone numbers, and clarify how you will follow up. Make sure to follow up within a day or two, when the conversation is still fresh in their mind.
While in-person networking does not always follow the exact formula outlined above, these steps are good ideas for how to network and build lasting connections with other people and organizations.
In person networking:
Follow up emails