“Networking is a lot like nutrition and fitness: we know what to do, the hard part is making it a top priority." – Herminia Ibarra
How do you make the most of a networking event?
- Be the first one there and the last one to leave. The middle gets crowded.
- Spend 75% of the time with people you don’t know.
- Be confident and happy. Confidence will attract people to you and make it easier to approach you than a wallflower.
- Be respectful of people’s personal space.
- Don’t drink too much – either drink a glass of water or nurse one drink the entire night. You have to keep your wits about you and maintain your composure.
- Don’t be aggressive – you are there to network, not scream your pitch to everyone.
- Don’t just use people to your advantage; rather, always focus on what you can do for them.
- Make sure you get the person’s name and business card… and since so many of your counterparts are so dreadfully unprepared for networking (e.g., they forget to pack their own business cards!), have a notebook and pen handy to jot down their coordinates. Never depend on them to follow-up on the card you give them.
Stay tuned for “Part Three” of this series tomorrow.