We all know the saying 'It's not what you know, it's who you know.' Although this saying is not true in all areas of life, it can be very real in the world of startups. Even if your business fails and you are dead broke, the power of your network can most likely get you back afloat. For this reason, growing your professional network is your best time investment.
Networking is not just about attending events to gain something: connections, jobs, exposure, referrals. If you show up unprepared and with a 'taker' mindset, you will leave disappointed, thinking networking as a complete waste of time.
Many of our Aviato Club guests have asked us for tips on how to network like a pro, so behold we present you proven tips and tricks for networking domination:
1. Have a plan
The day before any networking event, reflect on what talents, strengths, skill sets and connections you can bring to the table. Be clear on what you want to talk about and how you can be of help to others.
2.Be a giver, not a taker
Find out how you can be helpful to the people you are meeting. The most successful networkers build genuine relationships and give more than they receive. They go beyond thinking, "What's in it for me?" to ask "How can I help?"
3. Shut up and listen for once
Your talking should be concise and clear. Practice active listening, ask relevant questions, don't interrupt when others speak. Have a short conversation, exchange business cards (or add them
on LinkedIn), and move on.
3. Say no to alcohol
Alcohol can loosen you up but it can also loosen up your mind which could steer in the wrong direction. Plus alcohol can give you bad breath making non drinkers uncomfortable.
4. Have your elevator pitch ready
Don't scramble at the last minute and start blabbing. If you don't know how t o write one check this step by step guide
5. Have AWESOME business cards
Don't home print! Make your design stand out among the stack of business cards people will gather at the event.
6. Never dismiss anyone as unimportant
Don't make the mistake of discounting people due to their titles - discover the value in each person you talk to Someone you meet may "just" be an assistant, but they may have valuable connections you'd never know about if you'd dismissed them.
Now you are ready for your next networking event. For more networking opportunities, come stay at one of our properties in Los Angeles.