How to Network Like a Pro
One of the questions I get asked all the time is: “What is the secret to networking?” There isn’t just one answer. There are so many secrets. Networking takes planning and practice. It’s about building relationships, making meaningful connections, and having (and maintaining) visibility in your community. Building a business by referral involves way more than just attending events, collecting business cards, and shaking hands. It takes planning, effort, and execution.
Networking (when you do it right) is not easy. However, in my books, it is the best way to build a business.
Before you go to the next networking event, think about these 3 things –derived from “Networking Like a Pro” by Ivan Minser.
- Look the part.
I am not telling you how to dress; I am asking you to think about how you present yourself in public. Research an event before you attend. If it’s a networking BBQ, it may be okay to wear jeans and a t-shirt. If it’s a black tie event, get out the fancy shoes and lipstick, friends! Think about where you’re going and who will be there when you stand in front of your closet. And choose wisely. Aesthetics do matter.
- Watch your body language.
How you hold yourself sends a message. In networking, there are huge nonverbal clues – facial expressions, posture, and hand gestures – that say a lot about you even if you’re not talking. Be conscious of them. When you are talking to someone, look them in the eye and stay present. Listen.
Tip: Give up crossing your arms. It says go away and don’t talk to me!
- Get your act together.
Be prepared to network. Have a business card (lots of them, in fact!). Exchange information. Know your elevator pitch. Be prepared. And, when you meet someone, for god’s sake SMILE! You’re there to meet people!!
This is just the tip of the networking iceberg. If you want to learn the basics come and join me on May 5th for Referral Success 101!!