You gaze around bleary-eyed, slumped at your desk like a puppet whose strings have been cut.
While you have survived another year end, you’re exhausted and the thought of attending the networking event this evening fills you with mounting horror. But you’ve committed yourself to going, so you decide to make the best of it. To ensure you have a positive experience, here are a few networking do’s and don’ts designed to help get you through the evening successfully.
Do Have an Elevator Pitch
Accountants today need to be strong communicators. In a networking scenario, an ability to succinctly describe what you do in 15 to 30 seconds can be the difference between connecting with someone, or watching their eyes glaze over. Who knows? The person you’re talking to may be the key to transitioning you into your next role.
Don’t Forget to Listen
There’s a reason our mothers always reminded us that we have two ears and one mouth. By asking questions and engaging in active listening, our chances of building new connections increases substantially. The goal here is to establish rapport and keep the person interested. Listening actively helps make this happen.
While one positive meeting can be a powerful thing, following up with your new connection is even better. Use LinkedIn as a way to continue to build the relationship. And don’t just send a standard invitation, customize it with references to your earlier conversation.
Don’t Dismiss Anyone
It’s important to remember that every connection is a networking opportunity, even if the person seemingly has no obvious relevance to the accounting and finance industry. As accountants remind yourself that the GTA is fundamentally a small place, and Rosie the florist, may have a niece who is a Director of Finance. So with that in mind, make every conversation count.
As accountants, by practicing the 4 networking tips listed above you stand a good chance of keeping yourself front of mind, so when the next opportunity appears, you’re the natural choice.