Many people feel a little nervous about going to a networking meeting but there is no denying the power of a great network. One of my favorite sayings is- No one is going to knock on your door and ask you what you do. So with that being said let’s get out there and network!!
The following are some simple rules for effective networking-
- Arrive early and join in groups as they are forming. Meeting one person at a time is often less daunting than meeting a crowd. The magic always happens before and after the meeting so make sure to arrive at least 10 minutes before the meeting starts.
- Have your business cards handy but remember that networking is about building relationships not just shoving a card at someone. If you have made a promising connection with someone, they may prefer to add your details to their phone than take a card.
- Dress appropriately. For most networking meetings it is appropriate to wear business casual. It’s important to wear professional yet comfortable shoes as well. After all, you don’t want to go to a networking event and have people know your feet hurt by the way you walk!
- Follow up all contacts made by email, phone, newsletter or make arrangements to meet again , ie coffee. Bring along your calendar so that you can get some of these follow-ups scheduled.