Holiday Parties Are a Great Time For Business Networking
Usually holidays make for a great party time. As a business owner and an active member of the community, you will find yourself invited to one party or the other. You can utilize these invitations to network a little for your business and to increase the contacts among the people, make your company and your business more known among the local community
Your focus, however, is not going to be just the holiday parties and neither is everyone at the party going to talk about business. It is still a great way to meet people, know who's who in the town or in the apartment complex in which you live. Once you know more people, when you meet them casually outside or when come to your business premises, you can focus on that acquaintance you established earlier with that potential buyer.
Networking at parties also means that you are keeping your composure and your professionalism at an acceptable level. You must remember not to attend parties and get tipsy all the time. You must remain professional to the maximum extent possible. You must give the people at the parties a chance to respect you and at the same time feel at ease with you for sharing their thoughts. Don't try to hard sell your business to every one at a holiday party, but you should collect all the business cards offered to you and pass out yours, so that they will be able to recall you when you meet them next time or talk to them on the phone.
You would like to strike up a conversation with many people from the community during a holiday party or function. There are some stock questions that will immediately fire up a conversation and start the process of building a friendship. Some of them are:
Hi, how are you related to the host?
What is your profession?
Are you a member of the local .......club? (This question to who ever may be hosting the party)
Where all does your business operate?
What types of products, services do you sell? And to what sort of people?
Can you suggest any clubs or associations that I can also join?
After this preliminary discussion, you can make the call whether the person is a business person or a buyer. From then on you can lead him on to personal questions such as:
Do you live in this area or are you visiting?
If your from a different area, what key differences do you find between your community and this local community?
You can talk about the internet, how important and indispensable it has become to business and how you use it in your company. Ask the other person how they use it in their own company. In general, keep your conversations light and friendly but keep in mind that each person you meet can be a potential asset for your business so never pass up an opportunity to network.