Don’t spend the entire time at a networking event talking with one person, unless of course this was your sole purpose for attending the event in the first place.
Generally 3 to 5 minutes with each contact is long enough to acertain if you want to establish a long-term business relationship with them. Be quick at getting them to talk about themselves.
When meeting someone for the first time, focus on the potential relationship you might form. As hard as it may be to suppress your business reflexes, at this point you should not make it your goal to sell your services or promote your company. You’re there to get to know someone new.
Be selfless. Networking is not about you. It’s about the people you meet. Focus all your energy on them. Put all your attention on the quality of the contact. If there is a connection, they will get around to you later. Be patient.
Make small talk. Ask lots of questions (and be a good listener). Good questions not only get the ball rolling, but they also take the pressure off you to carry the conversation. Be interested and interesting. The person who is asking the questions is in control of the conversation. When you focus on finding something you have in common with the other person, the quicker the connection will occur.
If a fairly quick connection doesn’t seem likely, silently shout, “NEXT!” and spread yourself around the room to be constantly meeting new people.
Copyright © 2010 – 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! Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”
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