Networking Tip Sheet
- Travel light. Carry a small portfolio with two pockets. One for your cards and one for cards you get.
- Use breath mints. No one wants to talk to someone with bad breath.
- Walk the walk. Carry yourself confidently. Don’t act like you are desperate or needy. Do not fold your arms and always look like your having a good time.
- Have a brief introduction rehearsed. About 5-10 seconds, not too much.
- Hang out around the food table. People tend to use the food table to socialize around and to ditch people that they don’t want to network with.
- Scope out the crowd and decide who you want to meet. Circle the room once and do not get stuck with one person for too long on your initial round. Quickly scan name tags but do not make it obvious.
- Do not feel that you have to meet everyone there. Meeting 3 -6 people and developing quality relationships is more valuable than meeting 30 people.
- Spot the lone wolves. Address people that are standing alone and make them feel comfortable. They will more likely remember you if you eased their pain of being a lone wolf. You will also have their undivided attention.
- Move around the room. You can’t work a room when your sitting down.
- Smile, smile and keep smiling. If you are not smiling neither will your prospects.
- Say your name when greeting people and then again at the end of your meeting. People tend to remember the first and last thing that you say.
- Listen… Don’t talk about yourself. Get them talking about themselves and give them your undivided attention. ASK! ASK! And ASK! Open ended questions to get them talking.
- Feel them out. Ask open ended questions to get them talking. Determine whether you can be of any help to them quickly. If not….. the politically correct way to move on is by excusing yourself to get food, go to the bathroom, meet a guest that just arrived or tell them that you have been waiting to meet another person.
- Card exchange. Never pass out business cards just to pass out business cards with the slight hope that they are going to pick up the phone and call you. It won’t happen. Ask for the other persons card and give their card special attention.
- THE WHOLE GOAL OF NETWORKING is to set a future luncheon or private meeting. You are not at networking events to close deals.
- Give. How can you help them. Be a connector, make introductions, connect people, provide a service, become a resource. Networking is all about building relationships.
- When you leave, write down information that you remembered about the contacts. The more you recall the more power you will have when you set up the appointments.
- Follow up. This is where most networker’s blow it. They don’t follow-up on their contacts.
FACT: 3 out of 5 networkers will spend the entire evening chatting with three or four people they already know.
Don’t go to networking events to just hang out with friends. Meet new people!