1. Do you arrive at meeting at least 15 minutes early?
A social hour is the time when the most networking occurs. Once the progran begins, there’s usually little time for networking.
2. Do you “make things happen” rather than waiting for things to happen?
Do you behave like a “host,” striking up conversations and meeting people, or do you behave like a “guest,” simply waiting for something to happen?
3. Do you introduce yourself with a 16-second sizzler?
Your introduction should be easy to understand and include your name and company name, the market you serve and how you benefit your clients. Practice introducing yourself with a 25-word statement that provokes interest. For example, instead of saying, “I am the President to LegalTech. I stall third-party vendor system for vertical markets, ” say something like, “My company is LegalTech. We help lawyers and their staffs make friends with computers.”
4. Do you carry a stack of business cards at all times?
5. Do you get a business card from every appropriate contact you make?
6. Do you have a pen or pencil with you?
Make notes on business cards you collect about where and when you met, any special information about them and what you want to discuss with them in the future.
7. Does your name tag work for you?
Don’t just put your first name on the tag. In large, clear letters, print your full name and the name of your company. Or, better yet, invest in a customized name tag. Wear your name tag on your right side so people can easily see it when they shake hands with you.
8. Do you concentrate on talking with one person at a time?
Don’t rush madly from person to person. Over the long term, you’ll do far better talking sincerely with a few people.
9. Do you wrap up conversations graciously?
There is a normal conversation cycle; as soon as it winds down of its own accord, feel free to move on.
10. Do you stay at least 15 minutes after an event?
Don’t rush off too quickly. Take a moment to say good-bye to anyone you met for the first time or haven’t seen for a long time.
11. Do you follow up fast with a phone call?
First meetings make first impressions, but follow up by phone helps cement them.
12. Do you put the names of new contacts on your mailing list?
Periodically send news clipping, report, or announcement you think will be of interest to them.
13. Do you always send a thank you note or place a call of thanks to anyone who sends you a referral?
When someone has sent you several referrals or one that is particularly profitable give that person an additional special acknowledgement.
14. Do you keep your networking calendar to a manageable level?
Don’t dissipate your energies by cramming every event into your calendar. Two well-selected events per week are ample. Remember, you not only want to make contact; you want to have time to follow them up and enjoy the process.
Now add up all the “yes” responses and see how well you’re networking.
0 to 3 “yes” – Hopefully you’re enjoying the food because that’s the only benefit you’ll derive with your approach to networking
4 to 8 “yes” – You’re off to a good start, but it’s only a start
9 to 13 “yes” – You’re well on your way to networking successfully
14 “yes” – Congratulations! Chances are you’ll be making lots of new contacts and MONEY!!!
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