17 Terrific Networking Tips
by Emily Huling, CIC, CMC
Networking should play a big part in your overall personal development and career plan. Why?
- Networking demonstrates your commitment to your industry and your clients.
- Networking gives you the most exposure for the time spent.
- Networking sows the seeds for long-term friendship and business relationships.
- Networking exposes you to peers who have similar aspirations.
- Networking enables you to connect colleagues who don’t know each other.
Here’s a short course for effective and constructive networking:
- Get involved in the organization by knowing the leaders, volunteering, and going to all the meetings.
- Be prepared. Have business cards and pen handy. Keep your cards in one pocket and those you receive in another.
- Practice your 20-second compelling personal commercial that briefly tells people who you are and what you do.
- Have a goal. How many new people do you intend to meet and learn about? What’s realistic for that specific event?
- Arrive early. Position yourself near the door to meet and greet.
- Wear your name tag on the right. It makes it easier to see both the person and name badge.
- Have a good, strong handshake. It tells a lot.
- Don’t spend time talking to those you already know. If a longer conversation is needed, schedule a follow-up call.
- Travel solo even if you arrive with a friend.
- Walk the crowd, work the room. Look at people’s faces and make eye contact.
- Be approachable. Have a smile on your face. Make sure your posture and stride exude a positive attitude.
- Remember names. Say the person’s name when introduced.
- Be curious about the other person. Ask questions. Those that are interested are interesting.
- Jot down relevant information on the back of their business cards (or yours if they forgot theirs). Transfer that information to your electronic format later.
- If you have to eat, eat early so you can concentrate on the crowd. Avoid alcohol. You are there to work!
- Stay late. Some of the best connections are made after the crowd thins.
- Follow up with those you meet with an e-mail or personalized LinkedIn request to stand out and to provide your contact information electronically.
Emily Huling, CIC, CMC helps the insurance industry create top-performing sales, service, and leadership organizations. She is the author of Selling from the Inside, Great Service Sells, and Kick Your “But.” Visit www.sellingstrategies.com to learn how Emily’s programs and materials can benefit your organization.
Emily Huling Selling Strategies, Inc.
P.O. Box 200 Terrell, NC 28682