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7 Key Things to Remember when Networking

by: Jennifer Larivey

Networking is just another word for building relationships.  What is necessary to do this in the most beneficial way is to be prepared when you go to networking events.  Remember there will always be someone there who will need a contact you have and vice versa.  If you want to be a great connector, then you need to remember you want to be known as a valuable asset to the business community.    What is imperative is that you remember to do these 7 key things:

1.  Bring plenty of Business Cards.  It is amazing to me how many networking events I host and attend where professionals do not bring any business cards.  This is a MUST!

2.  Attitude.  You want to make sure you bring your best attitude that attracts business.  People are looking for that vibrant personality that they can connect to.

3. SMILE.  Be friendly and approachable.  Smiling is contagious and it's impossible to not smile back at someone.  Just try it the next time.

4.  5 Key Referrals.  Think of 5 people in your close networking circle that you could easily connect someone else to.  This is so valuable because people will know that you bring a network with you.

5.  Listen.  One of the most important characteristics a great networker has is the art of listening.  Anyone can talk all day about themselves but if you are actively listening to other professionals you will find the Need behind the Need.   Asking the right questions and open ended questions is key. This will give you the best information about a potential client.

6. Dress for Success.  Don't forget to dress the part.  People are visual and no matter what anyone says we all judge the book by its cover.  You are literally branding yourself and you only have one chance to make that lasting impression.

7.  Share Who YOU are.  Don't just talk about what you do; 99% of the time people do business with people they trust.  Show that you are an expert in your field and that you are trustworthy to get the job done.