How to Network at a Corporate Event (Tips for Pharmacists)

How to Network at a Corporate Event (Tips for Pharmacists) by Elements magazine |

How would you rate your networking skills when attending conferences, seminars or tradeshows?

For a lot of independent community pharmacists, it can be tough to put yourself out there and make connections at conferences and other corporate events.

But the reality is, networking is an essential part of business ownership. It’s especially beneficial for independent pharmacists looking to make new connections, spread awareness about their businesses and set themselves apart from the competition.

Here are some simple tips for successfully networking your independent community pharmacy at the next event you attend.

Be prepared

It’s important to do your homework before attending an event, so you’re not going in blind. Research the event’s attendees so you have an idea of who will be there, and consider who your target connections are.

You should also set goals for what you want to accomplish when interacting with your target connections. What do you hope they’ll take away from the conversation about your pharmacy?

Try brainstorming some icebreaker questions to help strike up a conversation, and avoid diving straight into your own agenda.

Create an elevator pitch

Having an elevator pitch is essential in piquing your target’s interest and informing him or her about your pharmacy. Remember that some connections you want to make are with individuals who don’t yet know about you or your pharmacy.

The key is to keep your elevator pitch short and to the point, while still sounding conversational. In the pitch, you should identify what problem your pharmacy is solving, and what you can do for your target audience.

For example, if your pharmacy specializes in disease state education, be sure to communicate why there’s a need for that and how it will help your target audience.

If you’ve done your homework, you should know the basics about the individuals you’re pitching to. This allows you to tailor your pitch to each particular listener in order to make it more effective.

Build rapport

While you may have researched your target connections beforehand, you still need to establish an initial rapport in order to have an affect. Make sure your icebreakers make sense for your audience, and let the other person do most of the talking.

It’s also important to pay attention to your body language to show that you’re genuinely interested in the conversation. The key to establishing a relationship is piquing the interest of your target connection with your elevator pitch, and then making a positive impression to ensure they remember you.

Use technology

Using social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, and networking sites, such as LinkedIn, can be beneficial to establishing lasting relationships at events.

Create a post on social media about the event, and tag the host as well as other connections to let them know you’ll be attending.

After the event, reach out via social media or LinkedIn to your target connections whom you established a rapport with. This is a great way to remind them about you, your pharmacy and your conversation, and will hopefully keep the dialogue going.

By connecting with individuals via online platforms, you have the opportunity to introduce yourself to their network and possibly form connections with other beneficial contacts who didn’t attend the event.

Check out these 10 reasons to attend pharmacy conferences.

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Elements is written and produced by PBA Health, a buy-side solutions company.

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