4 great tips for networking

Back in the ‘90s, there used to be ‘networking events’. Held in convention centres and hotel ball rooms, the events were designed to have attendees meet the maximum number of new contacts in the minimum amount of time. Every few minutes a bell would go off to signal that it was time to move onto another fresh person.

I think I’d rather have a root canal.

Mind you, networking hasn’t gone away. It’s still important today, especially for those of us in the luxury relationship arena, but needs to be accomplished in a much more subtle way.

Here are four great ideas:

  1. Join groups that will give you potential clients, whether it’s your local Rotary or a wine club. Likewise join Facebook groups where your input and expertise can shine. Just don’t be too salesy-pushy. Networking is about establishing rapport, not whipping out a brochure.
  2. Consider yourself an introvert? Why not volunteer at events, such as a meeting of that wine club or a golf tournament at your local club. You’ll still make great contacts by helping, say, man the registration desk.Don’t forget to network with suppliers too. When you visit a trade show, promise you’ll make at least three new contacts (rather than hanging around with your pals).
  3. Another great way to make an impression is to connect people. “Sorry I’ve not been to Thailand myself, but a colleague has just returned. May I send you her contact details?” You never know, what goes around will come around.

Lynda Sinclair, CTM, is the Senior Vice-President – Leisure at Vision Travel Solutions, which has an ever-expanding and vibrant program for independent agents. With over 30 years in the Canadian retail travel industry, Lynda says she “lives and breathes what goes on at the front line.” She can be reached at lynda.sinclair@visiontravel.ca.