Most people feel they need to attend business networking events, but are scared, hang onto the wall, talk to a few inappropriate people and come away horribly disappointed.

Here are 12 pointers to help you improve radically:

1. Know why your there.  Is it for the social side, to develop sales or to raise your profile.  Then ask the question “Can I achieve that here?”

2. Set low expectations – aim to get NO MORE THAN 2 business cards or useful / relevant contacts

3. Treat every interaction as a “Conversation of Possibilities”. Go with an open mind, not  a targeted sales pitch.

4. Check seating plan – Sod’s Law of Networking. If there a dinner, you are likely to be sitting next to the person you spend time talking to prior to the dinner, wasting an opportunity.

5. Leave residual energy  – give more than you take.  good Karma as @guykawasaki would say.

6. Be interested in them, ask open questions

7. Badge on right lapel – so when you shake hands that is where their eyes go

8. Getting rid of someone; Introduce to someone else, or say “I need to move on”

9. If know nobody in the room; Take your time and look around, look at groups for opening, join but don’t stop the conversation, introduce your self in a FEW SHORT WORDS – make an impression

10. If you want them to take your card, ask for theirs

11. Take a pen to write notes on the back of their card

12. Follow-up .. do what you said you would.  SO FEW PEOPLE DO.  This one simple act wil make you stand out.

Enjoy the experience, don’t focus on the results.  Finally – you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find the princes.


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