10 tips - Make the best of a networking opportunity

It's been said that it's whom you know that counts. This only confirms that networking is vital for a business to succeed.


As an Entrepreneur I am social, creative, possess strong leadership skills, and am extremely knowledgeable in my field. That wasn't the case from the beginning. In my experience, while attending various networking events, lack of soft skills is detrimental to the image of one's business or self. A quick refresher in networking etiquette is in order, one that can help you leave a lasting favorable impression on the people who matter to you and your business. A collective my personal experience in networking.

1. Honor the event: If you RSVP'd yes to an event but believe that your absence from it will not be noticed and decide to skip it will signify a of lack of accountability.

2. Research and plan: Your host feels you have something valuable to offer and is giving you an opportunity to highlight your expertise. Make a point of doing your research before the networking event. Google the speaker, research the key players who will be attending, and take a look at their social media to see what you can find of interest.

3. Smile and stand tall: That's right! Part your lips, show your teeth, crinkle your eyes, and send the message that you are engaged. Remember, your body language is contagious, and a sincere smile can break the ice and shows that you are confident and self-assured.

4. Eat before you arrive: Add contacts not calories. While you can make valuable connections in the buffet line and at the bar, your goal is to make a favorable impression on several new associates. You can also always eat later but this networking opportunity will not present itself in the same shape or form.

5. Converse: Conversation should revolve around the other person, listening 60 percent of the time and responding, asking questions and engaging with the other person the other 40 percent of the time. Use the person's name in conversation to help you remember it.

6. No cell phone: Walking around holding your smart phone is a distraction that should be avoided. Refrain from checking texts, sending a quick email, or taking a call when your goal is to make a connection or to give your attention to those around you. Check your phone in private instead of in the middle of the networking event.

7. Right hand: Hold a cold glass or plate of appetizers in your left hand and carry your purse or bag on the left side, allowing you to be ready to greet others with a handshake.

8. Connect not sell: A networking event is an opportunity to pique someone's interest while leaving a favorable impression. Consider it an occasion to open the door to a future relationship.

9. Greet and close the conversation the same way: If you greet someone with a handshake (the most professional greeting), make sure to extend your hand to say goodbye before leaving the conversation.

10. Say Goodbye: Before leaving the event, make a point to say goodbye to the host and compliment him or her on the great event. Practice these etiquettes at each networking event so you can leave the right kind of lasting impression on the people you meet. Ukasha Malik

The Lioness Within Confidence Coaching

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