If you’ve been networking for a while, you have no doubt seen a lot of variety in how professionals approach it. But if you are a newbie, networking can be confusing. It seems there’s a protocol, but are there unwritten rules to networking? The answer is “absolutely.” Here are some hints that should get you on your way to successful networking.
1. Do dress appropriately for the occasion.
Don’t assume jeans, t-shirts, shorts, flip-flops, etc. are okay. If you aren’t sure, ask the coordinator.
2. Do bring cards to exchange.
Don’t indiscriminately hand out brochures or product catalogs. Networking events are not sales events, and remember that not everyone you talk to will want more information on your products or services.
3. Do talk about yourself and your business.
Don’t talk exclusively about yourself and your business. Not only is this self-centered, it defeats the point of networking. You want to learn about your fellow networkers to see how you can help one another.
4. Do describe your products or services succinctly, accurately and in a way that creates interest.
Don’t set up table displays unless the networking coordinator specifically asks you to. Typical networking meetings are not vendor fairs or trade shows.
5. Do accept cards and ask people if you can put them on your mailing list.
Don’t assume people automatically give you permission to put them on your mailing list. You don’t want to get the reputation of being a spammer.
While there are certainly more things to know in order to network effectively, these guidelines should steer you in the right direction. So what are you waiting for? Let’s go out and meet some new people!
by Katherine M. Gotthardt, CEO
All Things Writing, LLC
…because your writing speaks for you.
This article was written November 21, 2015 and appeared here November 28, 2015.