When I launched LS International in 2015, only a handful of people believed that a 26-year-old woman would make it in the highly competitive executive search industry. An industry dominated by former C-level executives turned into consultants and top-level recruiters with profound connections to the top talent in their niches, was not the landscape where someone like myself had much of a chance… However, there were two things that I knew would make me successful:
- I knew how to run an executive search from A to Z. I had no doubt about my delivery capabilities if I got a client to trust me.
- I knew that I loved networking and that if I picked up the phone I was going to engage in fascinating conversations. For me, networking is a passion and I had clear that it would be my route to success.
After many years in business, I know that there are other consultants with similar delivery capabilities, however, I am confident to say that I have not met many with my networking skills and who truly enjoy the networking process.
This is the reason why when we were offered the opportunity to sponsor the Networking Lounge at the LEAD Network Europe event in Dusseldorf, I had to say YES! As a professional headhunter, I understand the immense value of networking when it comes to fostering meaningful connections and advancing careers, and this is exactly what our Networking Lounge will be designed to do.
To ensure that each networking interaction at our lounge is both enjoyable and fruitful, we have put together a comprehensive guideline for effective networking. These 7 tips help you put your best self forward, create authentic connections, and make the most of your networking experiences.
1. **Put Your Best Self Forward**: Start by wearing a friendly smile and maintaining a positive attitude. Be aware of your body language, as it can affect how others perceive you. Approach people with an open posture and confident demeanor.
Example: When you enter the event, greet people with a warm smile and make eye contact.
2. **Remember Names**: Introduce yourself and ask for the other person’s name. Repeat their name during the conversation to help remember it better and create a personal connection. If you need to write down the name do not be afraid to do it.
Example: “Hi, I’m Sarah. What’s your name?” *Response: “I’m John.”* “Nice to meet you, John. So, what brings you to this event?”
3. **Use Positive Ice-Breakers**: Break the ice with positive conversation starters to initiate a comfortable dialogue. Ask their thoughts on the event, what they enjoyed about a particular presentation, or any other light and engaging topic.
Example Positive Ice-Breakers:
– “This event has been great so far, right? What was your favorite session?”
– “I loved the keynote speaker’s energy. What did you think about their talk?”
– “I’m really impressed with the organization of this event. What other events like this have you attended?”
4. **Identify Common Interests**: Find common ground with the other person to establish a stronger connection. This can be mutual acquaintances, shared professional backgrounds, or common hobbies.
Example: “Oh, you work in marketing too? Which industry are you in?”
5. **Be a Good Listener and Encourage Them to Speak**: Show genuine interest in the other person’s interests and experiences. Aim to let the other person speak more than you during the conversation to understand them better and build a stronger connection.
Example: “Tell me more about your experience working in that industry. I’d love to learn from your insights. How did you get started in your career?”
6. **Exchange Contacts and Manage Time**: If you feel a connection and the conversation is going well, exchange contact information to stay in touch after the event. However, be mindful of the time and aim to meet and connect with multiple people throughout the event.
Example: “It’s been great talking to you, John. Let’s exchange business cards, and I’ll follow up with you after the event.”
7. **Enjoy the Process**: Networking should be enjoyable, not a stressful task. Approach each interaction with a positive mindset, and focus on building authentic relationships rather than just seeking business opportunities.
Example: “I’m having a great time meeting new people and learning from their experiences. This event is a fantastic opportunity to expand my network.”
Remember that networking is about building meaningful connections, so be genuine and show interest in others.
Networking is the main skill that has made LS International a successful story. Building strong relationships with the best talent in an industry is what sets consultants apart in our industry. This is the reason why if you are looking for a C-level executive in the consumer or retail industry, LS International is the best partner. We are already connected with the talent global consumer companies need.
If you want to connect with the best executive talent within the consumer and retail industry you can reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.