Networking events for finance professionals don’t exactly make an IFA’s heart sing. Not everyone working in finance is an extrovert. For the quieter types, the idea of trying to work a roomful of strangers while keeping your teeth clamped in a fixed smile is akin to torture.
Not only that, but when you’re there you run the risk of being buttonholed by someone trying to sell you something (often themselves). These types often seem to think “networking” is business speak for aggressively boring anyone they can trap, until the victim is backed up against the buffet with no option but to agree to take their business card.
Online Networking Is for Jobseekers
And while online networking relieves finance professionals of the need to meet personally (or eat the tired chicken tikka skewers at the buffet), it can still take up an awful lot of time for no immediate gain. Besides, most professionals think anyone keenly updating their LinkedIn profile is looking for a new job.
If you dislike networking, you’re not alone. Last year, the Guardian ran a piece entitled “Why networking events are a waste of time”.
But the idea is not to sell your services: it’s simply to let people get to know your face and name and for you to find out whether they have children, a dog, a cat or all three. In finance, these are the vital personal contacts that persuade people you are someone they could talk to when they need financial advice.
No Need to Talk Much – Just Listen
They don’t want to know that you’ve just invested in the best back office systems for financial advisers from https://www.intelliflo.com/, even though you have. Tell them that later, when they visit you in the office. Say hello, talk about the weather, avoid politics, say who you are and what you do and then let them talk.
Most people’s idea of a good interaction is talking about themselves for ten minutes, so just let them. If they’re shy, try the Queen’s go-to question at sticky events: “Did you have to travel far to get here?” Your goal is that they like you and remember you – nothing more than that. Try this formula and you may find your next network event a lot less of a trial.