I present on networking to many companies and organizations across the country.
I wanted to offer some tips on successful networking during the holiday season.
This is the time where a little Christmas networking cheer can lead to a happy and successful New Year.
The power of networking is well known. Seventy five percent of all new business comes from networking. How often have complete strangers called you and said that they would like to do business with you? Seventy percent of all jobs come from networking. Many jobs aren’t even posted anywhere.
Many people succumb to the pressures of too many things to do during the holidays and let their networking lag. I believe that the holidays are an ideal time to network especially in these challenging economic times. There are more events during the holidays and it is very easy to fill up your calendar with a variety of networking events. Many events combine a number of networking groups into one event providing even more opportunity.
One key benefit of holiday networking is that more senior decision makers come out during this time of the year. For many it is their annual event. You can get to interact with the C-Suite.
The events are also entirely social events versus educational events so they are all about mingling, meeting new people, and networking.
During the holidays, networking events often involve a charity so they are a great time for building social currency by supporting the community outreach during this time of the year.
The majority of events also involve a significant other. You may be a lousy networker but your significant other may be great at it so there are more touch points for you to develop. People are more social, more receptive and more gregarious.
However, holiday time is not the time to pitch yourself to perfect strangers. Avoid becoming Mr or Ms Martini person and pitching your services and asking for the order. This isn’t the time to hand out your resume.
You should come to the event with 25 business cards in your hand and a pen to write down notes about what is personally important to the people you meet. They will provide you with ideas for your follow up. If you don’t follow up you might as well throw their cards away.
This holiday season is also a great time to be grateful. You may not have enough work, you may be in transition but you still have many gifts and opportunities surrounding you. The future will materialize if you are grateful.
If you are aggressive about networking and fill your calendar this holiday season you will launch yourself into a successful 2016.
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