‘We help our members grow through a variety of networking opportunities.’

Business Networking Tips

It is often the case in the Greater Newry Area that the majority of business is done through word of mouth referrals and ultimately networking.

In 2017, Newry Chamber held over 35 events right across the entirety of the region including the Annual Gala Dinner, Annual Chamber Christmas Charity Dinner, Greater Newry Area Business Awards, Annual Golf Classic, Chamber Raceday as well as Business Breakfasts/Lunches with high profile guest speakers.

We have seen the good, the bad and the ugly of networking.

Below are our top 10 tips on business networking and how to get the most out of it:

  1. Do your homework. Get in touch with the networking event organisers beforehand and ask for a list of attendees. Do your research, identify people you would like to meet then check them out on LinkedIn beforehand. This will give you the chance to know what they look like and know what they do. A quick search on Google is also helpful to see if their company is in the news so that you have a warm ice breaker. (See Point 4)
  2. Set yourself an objective for the event. There’s more to it than giving our business cards. Think quality over quantity – your objective doesn’t have to be just about sales.
  3. Arrive on time. If you don’t like breaking into a group of strangers this is a great one as you will get to meet people as they arrive. It’s also a great opportunity to speak with the event organisers, you’ll have time to build up some rapport and ask for a personal introduction to another delegate.
  4. The art of conversation. Time to put your homework to work… “I saw you won award recently for best managed company, congratulations” is a lot more powerful than the weather’s desperate! Have a few anecdotes that you can share over coffee.
  5. Remember you are not here to sell. It’s all about building trust and getting to know people. The most you are selling is the next meeting over a cup of coffee.
  6. Remember you are not here to sell. It’s all about building trust and getting to know people. The most you are selling is the next meeting over a cup of coffee.
  7. Connect other people. If you know someone that can benefit from one of the delegates services or vice versa make the connection. They’ll owe you one and if the opportunity arises, they will hopefully repay the favour.
  8. Help I’m stuck talking to the same person. Here are a few tips:
    • Bring someone else into the conversation and make your exit.
    • Share your objective of meeting x people or find a potential supplier for y, wish them good luck and leave.
    • Say it was lovely speaking to you but I’m sure you have other people to meet and enjoy the rest of the event then leave.
    • If all else fails say you have to nip to the loo!
  9. Follow up after the event. This is not like dating – follow up straight away with a quick email and connect on LinkedIn. If you’ve promised to send more info on anything, doing it quickly shows you’re interested, reliable and follow through on your promises.
  10. This is the most important tip so here it goes again. – follow up after the event – if you don’t then, you’ve wasted your time going.