Have fun at networking events! Smile and talk to lots of people! Be someone who everyone would like to meet.
Make good eye contact. Keep a twinkle in your eye. Never let anyone catch you looking over their shoulder. It gives the appearance that you are looking for someone more important to talk with. Mix and mingle.
Show up at networking gatherings with a specific intention of having a good time, having fun and meeting several new people. Notice I didn’t say “lots of people.” That is a mistake. Pick and choose who you spend your valuable time with.
If after meeting someone new, you feel they are someone you may want to stay in touch with, exchange business cards. Consider making an appointment to get better acquainted later while you are still face-to-face.
It is a major business irritant to hear someone say, “Call me Monday and we’ll make an appointment to get together.” Now! Do it now! Carry your pocket calendar with you to assist in that process, then move on. Remember your goal is to meet 5 to 10 new people! You can talk to your friends anytime. If you leave the event with only one really terrific connection, that’s better than zero. Don’t focus on the numbers.
Focus on others. “What can I do to help you,” is a great question to ask. Be their friend. Giving out lots of business cards places the emphasis on you. That is not why you are there. I like to ask them what they like best about what they do. Keep the conversation on a positive note.
Don’t talk about politics, the weather or the “rotten” economy! First of all, it is not “rotten” to everyone and second, that topic usually makes the conversation so south. Be a promoter of good. Talk about uplifting things. Tell a funny story but don’t try to be the “laugh” of the party. Keep it clean! Let everyone know you have a good sense of humor. If you pick up on some negative vibes, change the tone of the conversation or move on.
If someone asks and you’ve have a great day, week or month, say so, but don’t brag. No one likes a braggart. Be humble. Focus on them.
If food and drinks are being served, don’t hang out in the chow line. Eat before you arrive. You are there to network. If you run into someone who has had a few too many, quickly move on to someone else. They came to drink. You came to network.
If you are in a bad mood or have had a down day, it is a better idea if you don’t show up. Don’t spread the negative vibes. No one likes a sourpuss. You may think you can but you cannot hide how you feel. When you are feeling up, that’s the time to show up.
Be enthusiastic but don’t overdo it. Be yourself. Never try to be someone you think someone else thinks you should be. Demonstrate who you are. Always put your best foot forward and make sure it’s connected to the real you.
Copyright © 2009 – Larry James. Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Visit ” Networking HQ!”
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