Effective networking is a critical skill required for any professional yet 99% of us dread doing it and most of us never receive training.
Felicity McClintock, Head of Marketing & Business Development at Willans LLP, shares some top tips for networking.
As part of Willans commitment to investing in it’s staff, the marketing team turned a lawyers’ training session into a networking event benefitting the wider business community, inviting other professional firms such as Randall & Payne.
Author, trainer and international speaker, Will Kintish, spent the session helping people to become more confident and effective networkers.
Regardless of one’s position, industry or confidence levels, Will had tips for everyone:
- Prepare and relax: Do your research. Have an idea of who you’d like to meet ahead of attending. Be friendly and courteous, and make good eye contact
- Work the room: No room has more than six formats – from people on their own through to large groups with open and closed couples in between. Study each group, then make your approach. If hosting an event, don’t just talk to your colleagues and leave your guests by themselves.
- Never forget a name: Listen carefully during the introduction and associate the person’s name with something that is known to you, so that you won’t forget it
- Describe what you do, not who you are: Explain what you do in an interesting and engaging way. For example, one of the delegates reintroduced himself as ‘I help
businesses protect their ideas’ rather than say that he was an intellectual property lawyer.
- Follow Will Kintish: He often posts interesting articles on social media and has a wealth of information on his website.
Let’s face it, it isn’t rocket science, but Will’s teachings certainly did make everyone stop and think about how to handle networking. This interactive workshop matched with a feedback score for worthwhileness of well over 90%, is to me, money well spent.
When you are next networking remember…
- People do business with people they know (get out there), like (find common ground) and trust (be yourself).
- Get to an event early.
- Ask lots of questions and don’t go
into ‘sales’ mode!
- Be sure to follow up.
Willans’ highly regarded lawyers have a range of specialisms and advise national as well as local businesses, charities & not-for-profit organisations, international corporations and individuals. Find out more at www.willans.co.uk
Felicity McClintock, Head of Marketing & Business Development: