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5 Great Networking Tips for Holiday Parties!

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December 30th, 2010, 08:45 AM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 13
Hi Ladies,
I wrote this a while ago in preparation for the holidays, but I think there are some great tips that apply to any party in general. Enjoy!

‘Tis the Season! Holiday parties are in full swing as we head into one of the heaviest entertaining timeframes of the year. Whether business or personal, most people attend at least a couple of holiday parties throughout the next month. Whether you are excited to attend or are simply “making an appearance”, each holiday party presents a great opportunity to network and find potential prospects for your business.

Here are a few simple tips to engage people and find potential leads for your business:

1) Talk to People!

This might seem like a no-brainer but you’d be surprised at the number of people who go to social functions and only engage with a few people (typically those they already know!). Be bold and strike up conversations with new faces – you already have something in common in the fact that you’re both at the same party. Approach with a smile and introduce yourself and you’ll likely get a warm response.

2) Don’t Forget Your Target Market

You can also keep in mind your target market when looking for people to chat with. For instance, I’m always on the lookout for women ages 25-50 who may be interested in earning income from home. Of course I can’t gauge the latter part without asking a few questions, but in a roomful of new people I’ll make it a point to chat with those that appear to be in my target market.

3) Ask Questions and Share Information

The beauty of meeting new people is that you are potentially opened up to a whole new network of people. Asking appropriate questions is a great way to get to know new acquaintances and also learn if they (or someone they know) might be a good business prospect for you. Chat about how you both know the host/hostess, or discuss your occupation, or talk about your family or where you’re from. These are typically good, safe topics of conversation and allow you to get to know someone. Make sure to share information about yourself and allow them to get to know you as well.

4) Keep a “Freebie” In Mind

I’m not advocating that you prospect everyone you come into contact with at holiday parties; however, it is a good idea to have a “freebie” offer in your back pocket and mention it when appropriate. For example, say you own a web design firm and your chatting with a new acquaintance about your business. You can mention during the course of conversation that you offer a free 1-hour consultation for anyone looking to upgrade their web presence. If it’s not of interest to the person you’re speaking with, perhaps they know someone who could find it useful and your name could get passed along.

5) Offer Solutions

If you find yourself speaking with someone who could be a good fit for your business services, don’t hesitate to show them how you can help. For instance, I like to help women who want to stay home and care for their families but still earn income for their household. If I come across someone who has this need, I help educate them on what I do and how I can help them achieve that goal in a friendly and non-aggressive way. I always stay focused on solutions and never pressure anyone to buy or sign up for anything. I simply educate and provide information and let them decide if what I’m offering could be a good fit for their needs. By offering solutions you can get your message out there and then let people decide if it’s right for them.

Overall, it’s important to be genuine, have fun and enjoy meeting new people. If your chatting with someone and they don’t appear to be a fit for what you are offering, don’t sweat it. You may meet some interesting new folks that could become part of your social circle. I see holiday parties as the best of both worlds – a chance to socialize and have fun while potentially meeting new business leads. Happy Networking!
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