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n the age of gadgets and online communication, it's easy to forget how to make friends and stay in touch with people. Despite the heyday of modern technology, knowing how to use offline networking effectively is invaluable for all of us. No matter your hobbies, profession, or field of business, the ability to communicate with people and nurture relationships with them is priceless. You must include this in your networking strategy to succeed and become the best networker in your social circle.
In the new article, I will share some professional tips related to offline networking. Here you will know the difference between interacting with individuals online and in real life, how to make a nice image of yourself, and take advantage of networking, but not go into negative networking. I'll also give you a little insight into what can replace a business card and where you can find new contacts in the real world.
Offline networking vs online networking: The main differences
The benefit of offline communication is being perceived as more thoughtful and opening up greater opportunities to make contact. A friendly smile, a small gesture like a drink brought to a meeting, or some small talks are all part of the ritual. With their help, you build invisible bridges between you and a person.
Face-to-face contact opens more doors to get your interlocutor to like you. It is helpful both in building business relationships and expanding your network of acquaintances. In a real dialogue, you have no excuse for mistakes. You need to think more carefully about what to say, prepare in advance, choose the perfect outfit, and don't be too pushy. It makes sense to work out templates for offline networking interactions in some cases.
Note: A story told on time is one of the secret keys to your success. A storytelling technique works excellent for in-person conversations or texting.
In the case of online communication, you have the critical advantage of being able to compose your message early before sending it by email or in a message. You always have a couple of minutes to work out the wording and choose nice phrases on the internet. It makes online networking templates look as attractive as possible. They have one drawback: they look too sophisticated and sometimes lose a bit of soulfulness, which helps build the first touchpoint with your contact.
For online communication working, you need to stick to a few pro tips:
- personalize the message;
- remain brief;
- maintain the conversation vigorously, without expecting others to take the initiative.
Although online and offline networking work differently, they have the same goals. Your task is to find the icebreaker and continue communicating with the person next so that the thread of communication is not lost.
How to make a good first impression of yourself?
Some might say that appearance should not influence one person's perception of another. Still, it is hard to deny how much appearance has to do with a person's personality. The style of clothing, the colors chosen, and the attention to detail is one reflection of an individual's type of personality. That's why it's vital to pick the right clothes for a networking event.
A tidy appearance corresponding to the party's theme will allow you to arouse interest in yourself and not alienate the other party member. Your chances of starting a conversation and opening up in the discussion process are much higher when inappropriate clothing or some poorly chosen accessory, hairstyle, or makeup does not alienate your peers.
No one is asking you to look like a million dollars and reshape your personality. It's enough to stick to the essential tips:
- the style of clothing is appropriate for the venue;
- the accessories are correctly chosen;
- shoes look neat and do not cause confusing feelings.
Besides the outfit, try to remain nice in the process of communicating. Choose topics you can talk about wisely and try to be polite. It is unnecessary to speak too long only about yourself if the other person does not ask additional questions. Better take more interest in the individual with whom you are conversing. In this way, you leave a positive image of yourself.
Note: Do not show a fake interest in the person you are talking to. If you are not curious to chat about a topic, it's better not to continue the conversation through force. You can always feel your opponent's playfulness. Negative offline networking will never do you any good.
State-of-the-art solutions to make offline networking work for you
I have already briefly explained the essential tips to help you increase your circle of acquaintances and allow you to develop your business relationships. There is only one slight nuance left. How can you properly organize the contacts you receive at networking events and not forget about anyone? Agree; it is not very practical to collect new acquaintances as trophies but leave them behind.
There are several suitable solutions:
- gather as many business cards as possible and then manually sort them;
- transfer data from business cards to an Excel spreadsheet, calendar, or phone book;
- use a personal CRM to manage your new contacts efficiently.
You can use classic methods to keep an organized list of people you've met. The only disadvantage of such a solution is not everyone has enough discipline and time to monitor contacts manually. The advantage of apps is that many actions are done automatically. In other words, you save time and do not worry about losing the contact information of someone you know.
Choosing a great personal CRM that fits your communication style and has the basic features is all that matters. The Nection app can become the tool helping you organize offline networking well. With this CRM, you can get the latest information about your contacts, set the frequency of interaction with them, add information about this or that person, and send personalized messages to a group of your contacts through the most convenient channels for them.