- Whom do you want to meet? I usually find the best solutions to my business conundrums in other people, so before I go out networking, I ask myself, “What does my business need right now?” Need a logo? You need to meet a talented graphic designer. Need an office space? You need to meet a good real estate agent. Go to the event looking for someone specific to help your business grow.
- Seek quality people, not quantities of people. It’s easy to meet a lot of people and hand out a lot of business cards at a networking event, but how many of those 30-second glad-hand moments turn into valuable business connections? Seek out one or two high quality connections, and you may find your next collaborator or mentor.
- “Have you met anyone interesting here?” It’s one of my favorite conversation starters at a networking event. Suddenly, your conversation partner becomes your co-conspirator. Mine the people you meet for the connections you both want to make.
- Streamline your follow-up. After the event, don’t let your stack of collected business cards become an object of follow-up guilt and misery. Instead, break down the stack into 3 groups: 1) people you really need, 2) people who really need you, and 3) people you’ll probably never see again. Write to the first group right away. Give the second group a chance to approach you first by putting them off a day or two. Send a polite but short note to the folks in the last group whenever you get around to it.
- Look your best. Don’t over-drink. Have fun. Just because the party has the word networking in front of it doesn’t mean the basic rules of party attendance don’t apply. Look great to feel confident. Have a soda between those free glasses of wine, and have some fun. It’s a party!
The Sexy Grammarian arouses entrepreneurs and professionals to build their own strategy, brand, social media, and marketing content with private sessions, intimate workshops, custom style guides, and free writing secrets such as this tip about why your company’s name should not end with an s or this advice about how to be a sexy social media writer. And check out these useful tips for business owners from last year’s Small Business Week: How To Get Organized, How To Engage Your Social Media Community, How To Set Goals, and How To Become A Sought-After Speaker.