Don’t arrive too late. Arrive 15 minutes early.
Don’t leave too early. Stay and network, but don’t overstay your welcome.
Don’t drink to much alcohol. Networking requires that you keep a reasonably clear head. Consume conservatively and make sure to eat something before you show up to help lessen the chances of getting tipsy. If you cannot trust yourself to do this, do not drink at all.
Don’t spend so much time talking about yourself. Don’t oversell yourself. Focus on others. Networking is more about listening than it is about talking. Never be aggressive. Don’t push your product or service. Networking and direct selling are two very different things.
Don’t gorge at the buffet table. Stop and get a sandwich before the meeting so you can spend all your time focusing on networking.
Don’t speak negatively about others, even if what you are saying is true. You never know how that can come back to haunt you. Don’t be a gossip! If someone is being overly chatty on a subject you feel is inappropriate, be courteous and excuse yourself or change the subject.
Don’t use suggestive language or tell off-color jokes.
Don’t stay huddled in groups with people you already know. That’s a BIG “no-no” in networking. Focus! Meet “new” people.
Don’t show up just to be seen. And never show up with a “what’s in it for me” attitude! That’s a BIG networking no-no!
Don’t slouch! Look people in the eye when talking to them. Keep your head up and walk with a sense of purpose.
Don’t wear your work clothes. Dress up. Ditch the shoes with a scuffed toe! Brush your teeth and use a breath freshener.
Leave your cell phone in the car. The Mingling Maven®, Susan RoAne, says, “Turn off all electronics, except your pacemaker.”
Expand your horizons. Move past your fears. Networking won’t get you the results you’re looking for if you’re afraid to ask for help.
Bring your enthusiasm with you, and have fun.
Remember, you never have a second chance to make a good first impression!
Networking works! And you must work it!
Networking isn’t about using people. It’s about creating mutually beneficial relationships, helping others, meeting a wide variety of interesting people and creating long-term relationships.
My professional speaking business is now nationwide because of networking. All three of my relationship books have received endorsements from celebrity authors, therapists, professional speakers and is now available in most major book stores. My very first book, “The First Book of LifeSkills,” from which parts of this article was adapted, was revised and republished as “Ten Commitments of Networking” and sold more than 100,000 copies in the first eight months all because I was networking.
I know networking works because I work it. . . consistently!
Those who take networking seriously; as an art to be learned; as a skill to be fine-tuned; and who stay connected to those people who count, can generally find out what they want in three to six phone calls to those in their network.
Be prepared. When you understand the concept of networking, create a plan of action, and commit to work that plan, you can experience a new kind of momentum that will put your career and your life on FAST FORWARD!
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! Can’t find my book in your bookstore, order a signed copy from Larry James. Visit Larry’s “Networking HQ” Website; articles, tips, networking books and more!
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