Networking is More About Giving Than Taking Remember, relationships are mutual, and networking is no exception. Do not attend networking events expecting others to help you out—make sure individuals you interact with understand how you could also help them out in the future.
Don’t Be Quick to Whip Out the Business Card It is always a good practice to have business cards on you. If you hit it off with someone at a networking event, or someone offers you a business card, feel free to hand out one of yours as well. However, don’t “make it rain” business cards—others will quickly become annoyed by this behaviour, which can be perceived as pushy and even arrogant.
Don’t Spend the Whole Time at the Food Table Don’t let the food distract you. For one, networking is not going to be successful if you have food on your breath or in your teeth. Chewing is also unattractive during a conversation. Instead, grab a bite before you hit the event and stick to non-alcoholic beverages as you mingle with others. You definitely don’t want to be remembered as the person who had one too many margaritas at the last networking event.
Follow Up with Those You Meet Networking is not a one-time event. Rather, it is about the relationships you foster with regular contact. Email those you have met after the networking event, add them on LinkedIn, and maybe even suggest meeting up for coffee or lunch one day. Staying in touch is key to successful networking. Of course, don’t hound the person to death, but make sure you check in once in a while to maintain the relationship.
Keep Networking Networking is a skill that must be learned. Therefore, it may take a few networking events before you finally feel comfortable meeting strangers and exchanging information. The more events you attend, the more your skills will be strengthened—and the more your career will benefit.
NETWORKING is the single most powerful marketing tactic to accelerate and sustain success for any individual or organization! – Adam Small