I’ve compiled tips so that you come off as a networking pro and not a networking Idget. Did you read part 1? Don’t be an Idget, Dean.
Don’t ignore new faces! (Sin #4)
This is sorta related to Sin #3 (read part 1)… needed further stress. Also – new blood is the future of any networking group. The group goes stale. Court these people & make them feel welcome. It’s everyone’s responsibility. PLUS: When we get busier, we don’t go as often, do we?
Isn’t it amazing to think that your kindness could be just what someone needed to go to that new group, meet strangers and stay in business?
Bring business cards.
*disclosure: I am guilty of this one, which is especially heinous since I sell them. If you forget to grab a stack, stop by a pharmacy and pick up a little stenographers notebook to put in your back pocket. Pop that out, lick your pencil. Write your info real quick and rip it off. Wouldn’t that be a hoot? How ’bout just some fun colored sticky notes? OH! Superhero Valentine’s cards!! It’s fun to be goofy just to see what people say. It could be a great ice-breaker. Which leads me to the next point …
Having your 30 sec. intro worked out and memorized: a no-brainer.
Actually making an impact: much harder.
I have heard people work poems or little ditties into their intro. Catch-phrases that catch-on with repetition enough are pretty fun, and can be a great way to bring the group together. (Shout out to “The Sweetest Guy In Town”!) I’ve seen unique accouterments (yeah, I said ‘accouterments’, so what?) in the form of hats, buttons, clothing, or shoes that create a visual hook.
People remember different. Be different.
Make the meeting right there!
If you have a smart phone, and most of us do, make your one-on-one meetings right then and there.
♯ ♬ ♫ That’s what ♪ technology ♫ is for! ♬ ♪
I felt like singing that part.
Be that guy: Say ‘Hi!’.
If you’re not a butterfly: Get over it.
If I go into a group that isn’t mingling, I’ll “bounce” from one table or clique to the next and just apologize for busting in …as I’m busting in. Let me say that better… be cool when you’re interrupting (“I wanted to meet you guys”) and introduce yourself, but DO NOT ramble into your 30-second!! Ask questions instead. Make it about them. Most good netWorkers will ask about you.
Shouldn’t it be a natural interaction? Don’t be this guy.
Give to Get.
Give your time to the group, to the members. It will come back, in spades. We should stick together, share knowledge and help each other, right?
You can get over your head in a hot minute, so pace yourself.
Thanks for coming! 🙂 Now, what did I forget?