Networking Training with Alex

Alex first started networking during his undergraduate studies where he was the general delegate in his university. Having that position taught him the importance of networking. Now he is the Operations Manager for IntuuChina where he helps match companies with interns. He will also conduct a workshop where he will train our interns for a networking event, as this service is part of our new Professional Services package.

He arrived in Shanghai in September 2015 and joined InterNations and groups on Meet Up to start making business contacts. Apart from that he also attended events hosted by the Chamber of Commerce. He made it his mission to always come out of these events and meet-ups with at least two contacts.

Today we sat down with Alex to give some tips to our readers about networking. Firstly, he states students have the advantage of constantly having contact with their professors who are well connected. It’s never too early to start networking as you never know who can help you in the future, which is why it’s always a good idea to also network with other students in your class.

  1. Try to focus on 5 - 10 people to introduce yourself to. When going to networking events there can be more than 100 people and it can feel overwhelming when you walk in alone. You can’t be everywhere at once so narrow down your choices.
  2. Don’t try to impress anybody, just be friendly and open. When introducing yourself be sincere and start with a simple “Hello, my name is…”
  3. See what you can do to help others not the other way around. After you’ve introduced each other and see you can offer your assistance, ask or tell them of your skills. If you ask how you can help them they will reciprocate.
  4. Focus on the person you’re talking to. Don’t look over their shoulder or around the room trying to find your next target. It’s rude and they will most likely notice that you clearly aren’t interested.
  5. Communicate with them! Don’t just hand out your business card and walk away. Try to avoid the typical general topics like, “how long have you been in Shanghai?” or “what do you like about China?”, instead go with “what are your future plans?” or “what’s the most difficult obstacle you’ve had to overcome?”
  6. Never give out your business card first, always wait until the end of your conversation. “Oh by the way here’s my business card...” It’s also a good way to excuse yourself and continue making contacts.
  7. Always follow up within two days with a personalized message. Let them know how it was nice to meet them and make a reference to your conversation. There is always a 70%-90% rate of them responding.
  8. Don’t waste your time talking to someone when you see you can’t help each other. Move on! They are probably thinking the same thing. If it’s clearly a conversation you’re both enjoying continue talking and get their business card as you never if you’ll be needing each other in the future.
  9. Join InterNations, it’s free to join their general events, which usually comprises of 150 – 200 people. You can also pay to go to exclusive events which are more intimate.

Bottom line is that you are there to network and everyone is there to do the same, so don’t be shy or nervous. If you need any more advice and tips contact us for more information on our professional services.

Some tips on networking in order to achieve getting contacts at networking events and for more training apply for our Professional Service package.

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