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It’s not always the most comfortable thing to do. In fact for some, it can be excruciating. However, networking is one of the best ways to help make money happen for your business – no matter the industry.

We know these things don’t come natural to everyone. Which is why we’re giving you a few key networking pointers that’ll help you get the most out of your next industry event, without the awkwardness.

1) Be interested

It sounds simple, but it bares reminding; something as little as maintaining eye contact with someone whilst they talk to you at these events can go a long way. It shows you’re engaged, interested and willing to listen. Traits that can build trust between you and your new business contact.

2) Be interesting

Nobody likes a one upper, but no one likes a boring old sod either. When you’re at these events, have confidence in yourself to hold court – even for just a moment. Stay away from cliché’s (no one really cares about the weather), instead opt for an interesting story about your business and how it came to be.

3) Refine your pitch

When networking, quantity is usually the key. If you can’t explain what your business is in a simple sentence, then you’re not doing you or your business justice. Explaining what you do in a simple and attractive way will allow you to make a big impression over a larger group of people. Practice what you’re going to say before you get there, and you’ll be fine.

4) Create a plan of attack

Finally, create a plan of who you’re going to talk to and what goals you want to achieve by the end of the event. Make a note of them in your phone and tick them off as you go. That way, your networking event will reap some real results. Results that will ultimately help you make money happen.

Remember, at the end of the day you’re talking to people just like you – business owners, entrepreneurs and industry innovators. So, use the opportunity to show them who you really are. Hey, you might even score some free food and drinks out of it.