If you have a fear of networking at business events, you are not the only professional who has experienced such dread. However, there is a way to bypass the stress of the situation and feel more comfortable as you network with other professionals in your industry. You can utilize a networking buddy to be your wingman during your attendance at these events. This article will address steps you can take to implement an effective plan for working with a networking buddy.
1. Make an Informed Choice
You must have a specific strategy in place when choosing your actual networking buddy. It would not be wise to work with an individual who is considered your professional competition and solely out for himself. Making an informed choice, involves considering some of the following factors with regard to your networking buddy.
- Likeminded – It is important to align yourself with an individual who has a similar perspective when it comes to networking. This person needs to understand the value of effective networking and be able to work in a symbiotic professional relationship.
- Determined – In order for this buddy networking plan to be successful, you must align yourself with an individual who is determined to be proactive during the event. If both of you are too afraid to speak to others, neither one of you will be successful.
2. Openly Discuss the Plan
The second step involves openly discussing the buddy plan for the actual networking event. For example, if you don’t prepare beforehand for how you plan to maneuver through the crowd, you can end up talking over each other and making a messy presentation of yourselves. Think about the following factors when strategizing with your networking partner.
- Openness – If you cannot openly share with your buddy, then you won’t succeed. Take the time to discuss your own goals and what your partner hopes to accomplish by attending the event, such as connecting with other professionals and getting leads.
- Accountability – A second factor to consider is whether or not this person can keep you accountable for your goals and if you can keep him accountable for his goals. For you both to be successful, you must work together in a responsible manner.
3. Work Together Symbiotically
During the actual networking event, you must work together as a team. Remember that you are working together to support each other and to accomplish specific goals. You can implement the following strategies into your networking experience to ensure that you work together symbiotically.
- Tag Team Approach – Task one of you to speak first. Then tag team the subsequent networking approach and your buddy can lead first with the next contact.
- Supportive Approach – Sing your buddy’s praises and your partner can do the same for you. If you both work symbiotically, you can network effectively at each event attended.
Make an effort to follow all three steps discussed in this article and you can increase your chances of maneuvering through networking events without fear and accomplish some impressive goals. Remember to have fun and enjoy the process. After all, you have a buddy now to help you through the networking process. If you have worked with a buddy to be more effective in networking, how did the experience play out?