It’s a new year so time to start thinking about what you do and how you do it. That applies to your networking activities too.
We are constantly saying that networkers need to be in it for the long haul and great results will take time to achieve because networking is all about trust of course. Hopefully, that message has really been taken on board now and everyone accepts that the results they want will be delivered from consistent attendance and adding value to the relationships developed.
What are the important things to think about and decide whether you are giving them the best attention you can?
Turning up early – Be ready, be enthusiastic – have plenty of business cards with you. It doesn’t matter if someone ends up with several of yours; perhaps that will encourage them to hand them out to their contacts too.
If you take someone with you, make sure you don’t just stick together -one occasion when you can divide and rule!
Make sure you speak to everyone in the room – don’t leave having ignored anybody completely.
Shake hands firmly and confidently – limp, ‘wet fish’ handshakes send the wrong message about you as does a vice like, crushing grip which leaves others massaging their fingers!
Make sure your one minute introduction is interesting and compelling whilst at the same time sounding spontaneous.
Don’t ‘elbow your way in’ to conversations. Wait for your chance to take part. ‘Pushiness’ is not popular.
The meal is not the primary reason you are there so don’t devote too much time to that at the expense of conversation and relationship building.
Stay until the end. People will often still be around for quite some time after the official meeting has completed, so try to make the most of those additional opportunities.
By following the fundamentals, you will make networking work to your best advantage.