Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Successful Networking Techniques

Do networking events make you nervous or uneasy? Would you like to maximize your return on the time you spend at networking events? Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your next networking event before you go, while you're there, and after you leave.

Before the Event

  • Set Goals (Why are you going and what do you want to accomplish by going?)
  • Practice Self-Introduction
  • Bring Plenty of Business Cards
  • Arrive Early
  • Offer to Help

During the Event

  • Keep Goal in Mind
  • Strive to Get Out of Comfort Zone—Great Way to Build Skills
  • Smile and Maintain Good Eye Contact
  • Be Purposeful and Enthusiastic – Have an Idea of the Benefits of Attending
  • Have Firm Handshake (but Not too Strong)
  • Acknowledge Person’s Name in Shortly After Shaking Hands—Helps with Name Retention
  • Talk to People Who are Alone
  • Listen for Things You Have in Common
  • Exchange Business Cards & Make Notes on Back
  • Ask How You Can Help Them
  • Sit at Separate Tables (if you’re in a group from the same company)

After the Event

  • Follow Up – Meet for Coffee or Lunch
  • Volunteer for a Committee – Will Help You Build Comfort Level with an Organization
  • Give Referrals – Be a Resource

Four Steps of Conversation

Step 1: Small Talk – name, job, weather, or the situation that brings you together

Step 2: Fact Disclosure - occupation, hobbies

Step 3: Viewpoints & opinions - politics or your opinion of a certain person

Step 4: Personal Feelings - concern about a family situation or member

Rose Slaymaker
Nemec Marketing Group

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