Many people think that simply attending social or networking events is enough to get their name out there. However, being approachable and remembered are far more important than simply showing up. Here a suggestion on how to become more approachable:
- Always wear a nametag at company events. Seeing your name will make people feel more comfortable (especially if they’ve forgotten it), and your company name can easily be a conversation starter.
- Extend a friendly handshake, and introduce yourself to someone new.
- Walk slower, smile, and look around. Make eye contact with people. This makes it easier for people to get your attention. If you are hanging out in one area, put your cell phone, computer, and other distractions away, so you don’t appear too busy to visit with others.
- Bring business cards with you everywhere. Don’t avoid people if you don’t have time to talk very long — simply say you’re sorry to be rushed. Then give the person you’re talking to your business card, and ask them to contact you to continue your conversation another time.
- Prepare a brief, creative answer for the question, “What do you do?” An intriguing response can easily fuel a conversation.
- Be friendly to everyone, regardless of their job status or title.
- Avoid crossing your arms. You will appear distant and unapproachable otherwise.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. This shows you are listening.
- Share experiences, whether successes or failures. People remember stories they can relate to more than hard facts.