Cracking the networking code? 3 survival tips for your next mingle!
Last week was not only what felt like the darkest one in Sweden this year, it also happened to be the week when we arranged the second meetup with our business network. This time, the meetup was arranged in collaboration with our friends at Wint and Nordnet.
With keynote speakers such as Caroline Säisä and Ulrika Ahl from Wint, Maja Ginsburg and Ashraf Habash from Anaspire as well as healthcare entrepreneur Victoria Boethius at Vegatus and Alexander Gustafsson from Nordnet, our guests were in for a packed evening! The event was fully booked and we’re delighted that so many also showed up, despite the weather of the day: pouring November rain (!).
Networking events tend to divide people into two groups: the ones who loves them, and the ones who dreads them. Regardless of which group you feel most drawn to today, we presume that you might agree with us that as a freelance business owner, networking is not really optional. Rather, getting out every now and then to meet and greet ought to be an integrated part of your business.
But how do you crack the mingle code then? Well, based on our study of all the brave entrepreneurs, speakers and curious consultants we met up with last week, there are several ways of doing this. With December and all its mingles coming up, we decided to compile a quick list with a few tips!
Here you go, ready to be applied at once – here’s 3 survival tactics for your next business mingle:
1. Be prepared so that you can be your best you. And no, with that we don’t mean that you need to upgrade your whole wardrobe or get a haircut prior to a mingle. However, making sure you feel good is a great way to ensure that you won’t be focusing on your looks during the evening. Instead of considering if that piece of lettuce is stuck between your teeth or if your shirt is smelly, you will be able to relax and actually focusing on who’s in front of you.
2. Getting too many questions and starting to feel uncomfortable? Need a little breathing break? We hear you.
If it’s been a while since you were “out and about”, talking about yourself can feel exhausting and overwhelming.
“I’m sorry, I feel like we got caught up now only talking about me. Please, I’m curious to find out about you/what you said about X earlier. Tell me more, what does it mean to work with X./how did you end up doing this/ when did you decide to pursue X/who are you teaming up with…“.
See what we mean? Be honest about your need to shift focus for a while, then immediately take the lead as well. Remember, you can always use this classic phrase when you need to turn things around!
Then, of course adapt your follow up questions based on the current situation. The examples above are just to give you a few ideas on how to get started.
3. Clear goals for your networking efforts. Set up goals based on who YOU are. Not based on what your bestie or sales team would do.
Is it a really bad day but you can’t postpone? Well, perhaps a suitable goal for today may be to just show up and talk to a maximum of three people? If you know there will be an important connection at your mingle, then focus mainly on that person. Connect in any way that comes natural to you. Thanks to all digital solutions today, following up has never been easier.
Natural born networker? Then you don’t need our advice above, but perhaps it’s time you challenged yourself even more. What could you do to improve yourself? Maybe you could lend a social hand to someone nervous you meet and help him or her to relax a bit?
What’s your best networking tips? We’d love to hear from you! Drop us a comment below and let us now.
Last but not least, in case you missed our mingle last week, new meetups for freelance consultants are coming up next year! Sign up for Brainville and our newsletter and we’ll let you know when the next one will be 🙂
All the best and good luck with your December efforts 😉
/Your friends at Brainville