The holidays are a great time to socialize with co-workers, colleagues and clients in a relaxed, yet professional atmosphere. Networking doesn’t just happen at scheduled networking events. The Sales Assassin is always searching for opportunities to interact with key relationships and make new contacts.
Holiday parties, cocktails, social hours and other holiday events are a valuable time to:
• thank current clients for their business, even when that client is served by a colleague
• build relationships with other professionals in related fields who are a potential source of referrals
• congratulate co-workers on their accomplishments during the past year and show support for their work
• impress senior executives and the leadership team with your professionalism
A holiday business event is not the time to:
• wear revealing, sloppy or unprofessional attire
• aggressively approach a business prospect
• air a grievance with a colleague
• be over-served at the bar
To demonstrate your professionalism and sales savvy here are some holiday networking tips from the pros:
1. Leave your smart phone home. Or, at least, keep it out of sight. Don’t text or check email while talking with your fellow party-goers.
~ Carol Kinsey Goman, Forbes
2. Break the ice with easy to respond to questions such as
1. “How are you planning to spend your holidays?”
2. “Are you spending time with friends and family?”
3. “Do you get a lot of time off from work for the holidays?”
These questions can put people at ease and then open up a conversation about work.
~ Tracey Wilen-Daugenti, Examiner
3. Be curious, and show an interest in others. If you’re at a business forum, trade show, presentation or other public- or industry-related event, you can always begin with something like, “Hi, great to see/meet you. What brings you here?”
~ Arnie Fertig, USNews
4. Position yourself. Standing near the food is a sure-fire way to meet others. Everyone heads to the buffet at some point.
~ Rhett Power, Inc.
5. Arrive with goals in mind. When you attend a networking event you should have a set goal in mind. For example, you might want to establish three connections that can develop into business relationships.
~ Jonathan Long, Entrepreneur
As a sales professional or entrepreneur, holiday parties are unique opportunities to mix business with pleasure and develop valuable contacts and build relationships. Plan your party networking strategy in advance to maximize your potential for business opportunities and sales success.
~ Anthony Caliendo,The Sales Assassin