People do business with people they know, like, and trust. People refer people they know, like, and trust. Think about what makes you know, like, and trust others. Then take that laser focused intent with you to every networking event you attend. You’ll have more fun, expand your influence and become more successful. What could be better?
Okay – you’re at a networking event, now what?
1. Come early – the 15 minutes before the event are where the ice gets broken. The initial conversations that help people get comfortable are where stories are told and initial impressions made. I remember Sean showing me the website about how to make cheese (honestly, before that I couldn’t remember his name.)
2. Wear something that’s a conversation starter – it makes it easier for the other person to walk over and make a friendly comment to break the ice.
3. Show up often – If it’s the third time we’ve met, now I can ask something from last time. Secretly, the first time I was overwhelmed from meeting too many new people and you got lost in the overload. Please don’t hate me.
4. Act like the host – There is someone in the room who doesn’t know anyone and might feel uncomfortable. Note, they’re standing by themselves. Make their day by introducing them to someone friendly, has something in common, or might be a good business contact.
5. Say their name – After they’ve introduced themselves, use their name. “It’s nice to meet you Sean”. People feel good when they hear their name and chances are you’ll remember their name later.
6. Smile – It makes the other person more comfortable, and you too.
7. Meet people more, not more people – Don’t look around the room for the ‘next’ person you need to talk to. When I’m talking to you, you’re the only person in the room.
8. You’re NOT working the room – You are connecting with people building trust, relationships, and connections.
9. Get people to talk – ask them questions like, “What do you love/enjoy most about what you do?”
10. Listen, no really – ask questions you really want to know the answer to, “What do you see as the coming trends in your industry?”
11. Treat each business card you receive like it’s an introduction – Read it, comment on it. Make sure it doesn’t get lost. Give yours only after it’s appropriate.
12. Remember something for next time – It’s okay to write it on the card. We all know that committed, busy, successful people have systems.
13. Give a complement – be sincere; it will make their day.
14. Share a story not a sales pitch – An interesting, unique story will be more memorable than your 30-second infomercial.
15. Give before getting – Ask, “How would I know if I ran into your ideal client or prospect?”
16. Exit gracefully – “Well, I don’t want to take up all your time. I’m sure you have other people you want to talk to and so do I. I’d like to continue our conversation, so why don’t we plan to get together? I’ll call you next week.”
17. Stay late – the best conversations happen after the event, that’s where you get past ‘small talk’ and can follow up on something they said.
18. Give generously of your time – We remember people who’ve helped us. Be someone helpful.
19. Be trustworthy – Little things like showing up, being happy, talking to people, and being consistent communicates trust.
20. Touch them later – a nice-to-meet you card, a quick voicemail, an article about what you’ve discussed will make you likable.
21. Ignore naysayers – That little voice inside that says “no one will call me so what’s the use” is that same voice that doesn’t want you to be successful. We all have that and some of us have real people saying it too. Unless they are successful, busy people in your own field and stage of development, ignore them.
22. Have faith – Success is the result of small efforts repeated. No one came here today waiting to write you a check.
23. Keep improving – Each event, be a little more sincere, a little more attentive, a little better follow up. You’ll be amazed at your skills by this time next year.
These tiny steps will make you enjoy your networking events more. You’ll get more people
that you know, like, and trust so you can be a better resource to your clients. And yes, more
people will know, like, and trust you too.
Why go to all this effort?
“You can close more business in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.”
- Dale Carnegie
Now stop reading about 23 Easy Tips to Use at Networking Events and start doing! Let’s create your personal profit strategies for growing profit. Call small business profitability coach Merra Lee Moffitt, CFP®. She can be reached at, 888-920-2030 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.