Warm up Your Holiday Networking

Warm up Your Holiday Networking

Warm up Your Holiday Networking

The holiday season is busy for all of us. There are personal and professional social events, endless to-do list, and, oh yeah, your work responsibilities. Even though you might want to pass on all those holiday invites, don’t. Whether you are looking for a new job or trying to expand your network, the holidays are a perfect time to build and reconnect face-to-face relationships. Many local industry organizations and associations host holiday networking events. This is a great opportunity to go out, have fun, meet new people, reconnect with existing connections, and identify business opportunities. Warm up your holiday networking with these tips.*

1. Attend Holiday Gatherings

This is an obvious one, but shouldn’t be overlooked. Think quality over quantity meaning that you don’t have to attend every event that you are invited to. Choose those events in which you will meet and make the most valuable connections. Also, seek out your local industry organization and associations events. These are often to open to members and non-members and could offer a great way to get more familiar with that organization and/or meet some its members.

2. Send Holiday Greetings

Your company might send out paper or electronic greetings, but make sure that your contacts get a personal greeting from you. In networking, it is essential to stay connected continually and the holidays are a perfect time to reach out to your contacts in a very non-threatening, non-salesy way. {It’s a Tweetable. Click here to tweet.}

3. Personal Networking

Set up lunch or coffee dates with your contacts during the holiday season. For some, business tends to slow down (or give the appearance of that) during the holiday season. This is a perfect time to schedule some additional face-to-face time. Use this time to catch up, swap ideas, or share an interesting lead. Also, make sure that you are generous with your time and willingness to pick-up that check.

4. Don’t Always Talk About Business

The holidays are great time of year to get to know people on a more personal level. Go beyond the regular business talk to get to know them outside of business. Great holiday conversation starters include: holiday traveling, traditions, worst/best holiday memory, etc.

5. Don’t Drink too Much

When attending soirees with great holiday drinks make sure that you are treating these functions like any other time of the year. Be on good behavior!

6. Be Genuine

As with all other networking, you should approach holiday networking with the mindset of how you can help others. Your motive should be how you can help your contacts, not what can you do for me.

7. Have Fun!

This is the most important tip of all. While networking is a serious activity that takes a lot of work, make sure you relax and enjoy yourself during this time of the year. Since networking is more relaxed during holiday functions, you may find your interactions to be more social. As long as you are still acting professionally, give yourself permission to have fun!

Put your holiday networking skills to work at holiday functions around your town. Please feel free to add your organization and/or firm’s holiday event information in the comments section below.

 

*Tips adapted from Karl Smith, Networking and High-Trust Business Relationship Build Expert, www.businessnetworkingsouthafrica.co.za

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