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  • Cesar Tamayo

6 Simple Networking Tips to Use at Your Next Event

I try to attend at least 1 networking event each week. And I'll be honest, sometimes entering a room full of people you've never met can be daunting - even overwhelming at times. I am by no means a master networker but I've picked up some useful techniques along the way. In my opinion, networking is the number 1 way to start or grow your business. There's no substitute to meeting someone face to face so they can get to know who you are and vice versa. By the way, if you need to network with someone about funds for your next project, I'm here to help. Feel free to visit www.wingspreadlending.com or give me a call at (484) 706-9601. :) Below I share some of the things I learned that may help you become more comfortable with networking:

1. Smile

You'd be surprised how powerful a smile can be. Chances are most of the people in the room with you are just as uncomfortable with networking as you are. A smile can give someone the sense that you're approachable and nice to talk to - which is one of the hurdles of meeting someone new. When you walk into a room, don't forget to smile and look for those who are smiling as well. Those are probably the ones you want to talk to first.

2. Introduce yourself

This is probably the biggest step. Admittedly this is where I get stuck sometimes. The feelings of discomfort of approaching a random stranger and saying something can become a big obstacle. Unfortunately there's no magic here. The best thing I can say is this uncomfortable feeling fades away the more you do it. Just keep it simple: starting off with putting your hand out (or waving) and saying "Hi I'm …" is good enough to get started. The other person will almost always introduce themselves as well.

3. Ask questions

Ok, I introduced myself. So now what? The fear of not knowing what to say can lead to an awkward silence. After you have covered simple introductions, start off with some simple questions. The one I love to get started with is, "Where are you from?" This question opens up so many avenues of conversation. First off, it's a question everyone can answer without worry. Everyone has a story and this question gives you conversational partner an opportunity to start telling it. I have found that most people will start about where they are from or where they live and then start to talk more about themselves, their life, work, investing, and/or what they are currently doing today. From there you can also ask follow up questions about the things that you found interesting about what they told you. Maybe you're from the same area; or maybe the person is from an area you've visited or always wanted to visit. There's so many ways to build out a conversation after that first question. Here are some others that I like to ask:

  • How long have you been in Real Estate (or whatever the event is for)

  • How did you get started in RE?

  • Where do you buy?

  • What kind of properties do you buy?

  • Do you do this full time?

4. Listen

Here's the key to keeping the conversation going. LISTEN to what the other person is saying. Sometimes I find my mind wandering about what to say next or who else is in the room. I have to remind myself to focus on the conversation at hand because there likely some very valuable lessons or stories that are being shared. And after all, isn't that what I'm there? Be present in the moment.

5. Share a little about (and Be) yourself

After your conversational partner has finished what they were saying, take an opportunity to share something about yourself. If you're not sure what to say, remember to start simple and tell your partner where you're from, where you live, or what made you decide to come to the meeting. There's no need to try to impress anyone. Just be yourself and share what you know and have learned.

6. Exchange contact information

Every conversation runs its course (and that's OK!) If you get to the point where you're ready to move on from the conversation just ask for your partner's contact information so you can connect again at a later time. Or offer your business card or contact info. I usually like to say something like, "Hey thank you for spending a few minutes letting me ramble" (while smiling). "Do you mind sharing your contact information so we can connect again sometime?" I have never met anyone that was not willing to share their info with me.

Next time you're going to an event give some of these a try. I'm confident that you'll find that they are easy tools to pull out of your belt. And I'm willing to bet you'll see some results. Have you tried some of these already? I would love to hear how it went for you! Do you have other networking tips that you swear by? I'd love to hear those too! Hope this was helpful for you. If you're looking for a loan on your next deal, please feel free to reach out to me at (484) 706-9601 or apply online at www.wingspreadlending.com If you found this content helpful, I would appreciate it if you would share with to someone else who might find the info helpful as well! Thanks!

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