With music and magic in the air and retailers telling you it's time to go shopping, it can be hard for even the most dedicated entrepreneur or professional to stay focused on his or her business. As sure as Rudolph has a red nose, there is not a better time to start building long-term business relationships. Whether you hope to land a new job, meet a new client, make that big sale or get a long-sought promotion, the festive season can be a gold mine - but only if you know how, and where, to stake your claim.
Here are twelve tips for Holiday Networking to help you make the most of your holiday season:
1. Be yourself. Authenticity is the most attractive feature in people. When we feel someone is genuine, we feel most at ease in their presence.
2. Dress appropriately. What kind of event is it? A dressy holiday party? An office party? A happy hour or open house? Whether it's dress up or casual, make sure you look professional.
3. Make it your job to meet people. Set a goal of how many people you will meet and stick to it. This gives your networking a sense of purpose and direction.
4. Attend parties. Most businesspeople try to avoid networking with people while holidaying. However, remember it is important to stay connected with people. Several organizations throw holiday parties to break from the traditional business parties. Attend these parties, as it is a great way to reconnect with people and stay visible, which is an important part of effective business networking.
5. Listen to understand. Business is all about providing solutions to people's problems. How can you understand their problems if you don't ask questions and listen. Use active listening skills to build rapport and gain a true understanding of their issues and concerns.
6. Talk about something other than business. In building relationships, which is what networking is all about, you want to get to know people on a personal level, as well as a professional level. Take advantage of the holidays to relax and socialize and get to know people a little better.
7. Ask for introductions. Know who you want to meet and don't be afraid to ask your friends, relatives and old acquaintances for introductions. Teach your new contacts to trust you before you ask for introductions.
8. Arrange meetings. Holidays offer a good time to reach potential target audience. S