Networking Tips

By Leadership Coach Cynthia D’Amour
Networking is either a valuable marketing tool – or a HUGE waste of time. It all depends upon how you spend your time.
Here are nine tips to help you get the most for your time and money.
1. Do not act desperate for business.
You’re at a social event. People want to talk to upbeat confident people. You won’t attract any business if you act desperate.
2. Stay focused on building your business.
Enjoy yourself, but remember why you are there. Pay attention to the people you meet and what they say.
3. Mingle – don’t sell.
This is a time to start some relationships and learn information that can be followed up on. Keep it light. Don’t try to do major business deals – save that for later.
4. Know that you are being scanned.
People like to know who they are doing business with. Treat everyone with respect and a positive attitude. This is not a time to air dirty laundry.
5. Set goals for each event.
Decide before you arrive at an event how many people you will talk to and what information you hope to learn. You’ll be amazed at how much more information you’ll learn with prior planning.
6. Be prepared to follow up.
Send a “Nice to Meet You” note to everyone that you talk to. It can be an e-mail or handwritten note. Find a way to personalize it to take away the feeling of a form letter.
It takes most people 6-8 exposures to remember and trust you. This speeds up the process.
7. Be an interesting person to talk to.
Do your homework. Plan some casual topics for you to bring up that you like to talk about. Being prepared will also help to build your confidence.
8. Have some good leading questions to ask others.
People love to talk about themselves. A great conversation starter is to ask what they like to do when they’re not at work. Many deals are done on a golf course!
9. Listen with both of your ears for opportunities.
Pay attention to conversations for problems that you can solve. Follow up with the solution during business hours.
With these tips in mind, you can make any event a valuable networking experience!

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