For any business to succeed, the people involved need to have the right connections with the right people.
For the most part, business travel is about creating a bridge between the physical distance that might prevent a new business connection from being made.
So, how can you ensure that your next business trip succeeds in this endeavor?
Let’s delve into several ways that you can be sure that you make new connections during your next business trip.
1. Use a Networking App
It’s getting more challenging to create that organic connection. People are busier than ever before, and when they aren’t, they often have a phone or other device distracting them.
If you are having difficulty making new connections, you can use an app to get their attention and set up a networking opportunity.
A few of our favorites include Let’s Lunch, LinkedIn, and CityHour. A successful business person uses all the assets they have available to them, especially innovative and efficient ones.
2. Dress the Part
To make connections with the right people, you need to present yourself as someone worth speaking to. You want to connect with professionals. You need to look professional.
Sure, it may be nice to dress comfortably while traveling, but if you get caught in leggings or sweatpants, no one will take you seriously.
Remember that you represent your company, even while off duty. If you are reaching out to others to create a new client, partner, or investor, you should always be dressed for success.
3. Eat At The Bar
One of the best places to make a connection is at the hotel bar. The atmosphere is primed for conversation, and the bar is full of people who are relaxed and ready to talk and connect.
Of course, to make sure your hotel bar has the right caliber of customers, you will want to make sure you pick the right hotel to stay at during your business trip.
Simplify the hotel booking process with a service like Hotel Engine.
4. Have a Pocket Full of Contact Cards
Sometimes, your greatest connections are made when you least expect them. So whether it’s in line at the grocery store or while you wait for the next cab, you should always be ready to grab the opportunity to expand your network.
To be prepared, it’s a good habit to keep business or contact cards on your person at all times.
When you are going to be attending an event that you know you will be making multiple connections, keep a pen to write a little bit about each person on the back of their card.
This way, you can put a face to the name and have some information to use when you reach out to solidify the relationship.
5. Do Some Digging
If your business trip includes a significant professional event or conference, make sure you get a list of the attendees.
Look for companies in your professional circle and find the names of those representing that company. If possible, see their faces, whether on the roster or their LinkedIn profile.
When you know who will be attending and who you want to approach, you can make the best use of your time and go in with a strategy. Preparation is key.
Of course, don’t let your list get in the way of natural connections with those who aren’t on the list. Sometimes the best professional relationships come from where you least expect them.
6. Be Genuine
There is no replacing a professional’s elevator pitch, but sometimes it can feel like you become a parrot repeating the same words over and over. Your conversations will sound more rehearsed and less genuine.
Reserve your elevator pitch for when you really need it and instead focus on just being friendly and natural. This type of genuine conversation makes stronger connections.
It also takes the awkwardness out of the conversation. Imagine if your elevator pitch fell flat. What do you say next?
When you approach someone with a cool and calm demeanor, you come off more confident but still approachable.
While it is important that people remember who you work for and what you do, it’s more important that they remember that they enjoyed being in your company.
With that being said, make sure they know your intentions. You are a professional, and you want to keep it that way.
Such a simple thing, but so often forgotten, is to smile at people. Look them in the eye. Flash your pearly whites.
More often than not, you will make a new connection, and if not, you will make someone’s day more cheerful.
Anytime you are around people, there are opportunities to make that next significant connection that could send your business to the next level.
Don’t pass up these opportunities, even while traveling. Instead, use these tips above to make your business trip a networking goldmine.