Business matchmaking is a powerful tool in the business world, and there’s a good reason for this. Through matchmaking events, you can build and expand on all kinds of opportunities and partnerships. However, if you’re new to the networking game, conversing with strangers about your business and goals can be intimidating, no matter how outgoing you are. Here are seven tips to help your first matchmaking event go smoothly:
Good old-fashioned, face-to-face meetings offer greater benefits for several reasons:
1. Be present
While this seems like an obvious piece of advice, it’s easier in theory than in practice. With constant technological demands from social media to phone calls from clients to emails from the office, the urge to multi-task can be strong. However, it’s a waste of your time and money to not focus on the person in front of you.
2. Have a goal
You should know what you want to get out of the event before you attend; brainstorm at least one or two outcomes you hope to achieve at the event. If it’s a matchmaking event (like the kind b2match helps host), you can and should schedule your meetings and research other attendees in advance. By knowing what you hope to accomplish ahead of time, you can stay focused on the day of the event.
3. Share your expertise
Both buyers and sellers want to associate with a person who knows what sort of value they add to a partnership. Don’t be a wallflower on topics you’re familiar with, and be confident in your abilities. However, be aware of how much you’re dominating the conversation, which leads into…
4. Listen as much as you talk
By being attentive to the person in front of you, you’re more likely to both get the information you need and ask thoughtful questions that further the budding relationship. Showing interest and sincerity in the other person’s conversation goes a long way in establishing rapport. When it’s your turn to share, cut to the chase by explaining what you need quickly and concisely.
5. Take notes
It’s difficult to remember every single important detail about every single conversation with every single person you talked to, which is why it pays to use external memory. All you need is to jot down a few quick notes after each meeting before talking to a new person. This will help you greatly when it comes to the follow-up.
6. Follow-up after the event
The main reason for networking events is to connect with others and grow your established contact base. While participation in the event itself is important, following up afterwards is priceless. Nurturing those brief moments spent connecting with network contacts is important.
7. Share the experience
You can expand your networking bubble out to other professionals in your field by sharing what you learned from the event. Generate a blog post, write a series of social media posts, or find some other innovative way of getting the word out. Don’t forget to give appreciative shout-outs to the organizers of the event. Perhaps one of the organizers will pick up your post and put it on their blog or social media account!