photo:  Freedigitalphotos.netNetworking is an integral part of any business.  Whether you are a new business owner/professional or established business, networking is crucial to your growth.  Networking can oftentimes be overlooked, especially if you are the one responsible for most aspects of your operations.  So over the years we have experienced several scenarios regarding to networking events, functions and interactions and have found at least 5 great reminders for all networkers.
1.     It is NOT about you.  I know this seems to be polar opposite from why we think we should be networking but it is true.  Networking is about how you can help the other person.  How you can assist them.  How you can help them find the connections they are searching for.  How you can help them.  It’s not about seeing how many cards you can thrust in hands, how many cards you can collect or how many appointments you can make.  It’s about making a true connection.
2.    Ask questions but don’t interrogate.  Clarify if the business concept seems vague or to get a better idea as to how and who could use the services or products offered.  “What brings you to this event?”  “I see you have passion for what you do.  How did you get into this line of work?”  “Can you tell me a little more about your services or goods so I may think of others that may benefit?”
3.    Don’t hijack the conversation.  A good conversation should be similar to a tennis match and should go back and forth and not be a one-sided event.  I have come in contact with some people that just love what they do so much that is all they talk about and make for a hard escape.  Yes, I said it – escape.
4.    Have a goal in mind for what you want out of the event.  Do you want to meet anyone specific?  Are you looking for a warm intro to a CEO or buyer?  Is it a competition to see how many cards you collect for your index?  What is your goal for attending and stay on track.
5.    Have an exit strategy for those times you are cornered.  I have been pooh-poohed about this reminder however there are times it is needed (refer back to #3).  Sometimes by simply reminding the other party that you both came here to network and do not want to monopolize their time will give you the opening to move on.

Of course there are some really basic reminders as well – Smile, be authentic, use a firm handshake, limit alcoholic intake, have mints handy and use them, write a quick note or have an ABC system for the backs of the cards and follow up, follow up and follow up with your connections.

Happy Networking!!


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  1. Thanks for sharing this insight today. We all often lose sight of how offering to help others eventually helps ourselves.
    Networking is not meant to be an instantaneous event .. it’s built over time.

  2. Some good insights here. The same tips apply regardless of type of networking event I have found. As long as you’re outgoing enough to sell yourself yet attentive enough to allow others to do the same then you’re on to a winner!! Thanks.

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