5 Quick Tips for Effective Networking

August 10, 2011
5 Quick Tips for Effective Networking

Being in charge of driving new business around here, I go to a lot of networking events. Here are five networking tips that come from a couple of books I’m reading, other experienced networkers that I know, and speeches I’ve heard recently. While none of these ideas are original to me, or my sources for that matter, these five are the most important based on my own experiences.

  1. Have Integrity. As my mom told me growing up; “Honesty is the best policy”
  2. Give to Get. This is the most talked about and least implemented networking tip. However, once you get in the frame of mind to look for the needs of others and fill them, the rewards are staggering!
  3. Two quality contacts. When you attend a networking event it’s not about the number of cards you get, it’s about having two high quality conversations.
  4. Follow up! After you’ve made your two quality contacts, you must follow up with an invitation to continue the conversation.
  5. Patience. Networking will not show results overnight. My experience is that it takes at least six months of showing up to everything that a particular group does to even start to build relationships. I know so many sales people who come to one or two meetings, hand out a bunch of cards, and don’t come back because they “didn’t get anything out of it.”

In summary, if you plan to tackle the networking game, pick a group, commit to 6 to 12 months of giving with integrity to two quality contacts every meeting, then follow up, all without the expectation of anything in return! It’s really that simple, but it’s not very easy to stick with it. If you do though, the results will be worth every drop of sweat.

Image: renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net