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July 11, 2016

Networking 101

It’s surprising how many people say they hate to network, especially Generation X and Y. However, networking is a valuable way to stay in touch with existing clients, get in front of potential clients, and meet colleagues for strategic alliances. Here are some tips to help take the pain out of networking. Business people communicating with each other against white

  • Choose networking events carefully. Our time is limited, and we are pulled in a dozen directions daily. Deciding to attend a networking event is an investment, so give it some thought and do some research. Find out who usually attends the event. Can they help you in your business? Are they potential customers and decision makers? What is the likelihood that you will make at least one good connection?
  • Forget the elevator speech. Yes, you’ve probably practiced it a hundred times, but don’t use it. They don’t work because they’re all about you. Instead, note the person’s name on their nametag, briefly introduce yourself, and immediately ask about them. “Hi, Steve. I’m Karen from Organize4Results. Tell me a little about your business.” Or, “Hi, Steve, I’m Karen from Organize4Results. Have you been to this event before?” Then keep the conversation going and stay focused on them. They will remember you positively long after the event is over.
  • Practice the art of the handshake. There is nothing worse than a dead-fish handshake, except the damp-dead-fish handshake. You know what I mean. A limp, lifeless, clammy handshake is unappealing; you just want to rub your palm against something to cleanse it. A good handshake is firm and dry and uses the same pressure you would use to check the ripeness of an avocado or peach.

Networking isn’t for everyone, but everyone needs to do it for business success. Try these tips; you might enjoy your next event a bit more and make some important business connections. See my blog post Networking for Results for more tips.

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