In today’s world, no one can deny the importance of networking and making connections. Marketing isn’t just for products and services, people market themselves as well. A common phrase says that “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. While that may not be entirely true, there is undeniable merit to having a vast group of people who know your name and think highly of you. In meeting new people, a first impression really can make or break you, and you never know who you’re shaking hands with. Anyone from a mutual acquaintance to the random person sitting next to you on an airplane can unlock some potential down the road.
There are a few things to remember, three in fact, when introducing your professional self to someone new. The first, while somewhat obvious, is definitely the most important, and that is to be confident. A firm handshake, genuine smile, eye contact, and speaking with authority will get you pretty far.
Let’s face it, most people don’t want to hear your entire life story, so be clear and concise. Think about a big picture look with relevant supporting details. If you give an interesting overview, your new friend will want to know more on their own.
The last thing to keep in mind is to be unforgettable. Even if you have great body language and give a brief description, content still matters. Take this for example: which sounds better? “Hi, I’m J. Smith from Sioux City, Iowa. I graduated from the University of Iowa and now work for a marketing firm where I am in charge of client recruitment.” OR “Hello, I’m J. Smith, networking head for ABC marketing in Sioux City. I am passionate about meeting people who share the same vision and drive for success that we do, and I work to see how we can help them grow in the future”. While both give virtually the same information, the second description shows a more personal touch and uses buzzwords that are exciting, like “networking head”, “passionate”, and “success”.
Be confident, clear, concise, and unforgettable, because you never know who could lead you to big things in the future. We believe highly in the power of networking and hope to see you out and about sometime soon.