Practice 3 opening lines: have you ever been to a networking event and overheard someone use the exact same opening line they used with you 3 minutes ago? http://ow.ly/6Mbq30eINs8
Bring a wingman: Pairing up with a buddy who is supportive, not competitive, can help give you the confidence to walk up to a group of strangers and introduce yourself. http://ow.ly/6Mbq30eINs8
Skip the business card: Exchange contact info via your phone. http://ow.ly/6Mbq30eINs8 Tip: Business cards are NOT dead. It depends on your industry, and how cool or useful your biz card is.
Follow-Up: Networking doesn\'t end when you connect. The following day follow-up with an email, text or even a phone call.
Connect: Once you\'ve met a new contact, connect with them online, ie LinkedIn. An exchange of names and phone numbers doesn\'t constitute a relationship or a prospect.
Be helpful: The rule of social networking is giving, not taking. The same applies to real-life. Share a relevant article, app or introduce a new contact that is relevant to your conversation.
Solve their problem: People are networking for a reason. Find out what problem they\'re trying to solve, and if you can solve it tell them how. If you can\'t, introduce them to a contact who can.
Be curious and show an interest in others: If you’re at a trade show or other industry event begin with something like, “Hi, great to meet you. What brings you here? http://ow.ly/sMDB
LISTEN = SILENT: It\'s not about you, it\'s about who you\'re connecting with. Be quiet, listen to understand your new contact, not to make your own reply. http://ow.ly/ZsHy30eIPKm
Share your story: Help contacts relate to you by telling your story, not the pitch you think everyone wants to hear. That\'s how you stand out. http://ow.ly/oqul30eIPY5
Ask for introductions, referrals or recommendations: Find out which of your contacts is connected to your target, and request an introduction. http://ow.ly/EVeq30eIQ1l
Choose the right networking channel: Whether you network at a trade show, at a 5pm after work event or from your laptop go where your target is: not in your preferred work zone.
Think like your target: Adapt to be where your audience is: if they work in coffee shops, go work in coffee shops! If they\'re at Little League, sponsor a team.
Host an event: Put yourself in the shoes of your ideal clients. What type of event or content might they be interested in? http://ow.ly/rsKB30eIRhC
Create free content that solves their problem and demonstrates your expertise: Blogs, webinars, eBooks and white papers are opportunities to share your knowledge and connect with new people.
Build a community: A meet-up, a Facebook group or a LinkedIn group are all an opportunity to grow your network and share ideas and solutions.
Look up: If you\'re at a networking event, get your nose out of your smartphone and look at and meet people. You\'re there to network, not check your emails.
Download networking apps: Many trade shows and conferences use networking apps to connect attendees. Find out if yours has one - and if it doesn\'t, recommend one!
Personalize your conference badge: Don\'t just wear your badge as is: add your photo, @handle or other contact info to personalize it and be more memorable.
Say your new contact\'s name during your conversation: Using their name demonstrates you\'re listening (see #9 above) and helps you remember it.
Practice your handshake: Many people shake hands when introduced, especially at work events. Practice yours so it\'s firm not limp, and its friendly not awkward. Tip: Offer your hand first!
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