Click here to view the following post as published in the Cincinnati Business Courier.
How can I improve my professionalism and effectiveness at networking events? I am showing up at these receptions but am not seeing many results.
The New Year is a time for new beginnings and setting new resolutions. Why not start with working a room with a new plan at your next networking event? Your company isn’t sending you to these receptions because they are worried that you are hungry, thirsty, or lonely. They are sending you to promote their business and build relationships with centers of influence and prospective clients. Start 2015 with a bang by remembering these 3 tips:
1) Arrive early - Arrive a few minutes early when the event is calmer. Being a first attendee allows you the advantage of finding conversation partners before cliques have formed, which makes it harder to break into established discussions.
2) Wear your name badge correctly - Be keenly aware that your name badge belongs HIGH AND RIGHT on your chest. This allows your acquaintance to follow his/her line of vision with a natural progression starting with your hand during the handshake, up your arm, then easily reading your name tag, ending with engaged eye contact and a smile.
3) Be strategic & be disciplined - Set a personal goal as to the number of new contacts you want to meet at the event and then don’t leave the event or start socializing with friends until you reach your goal and have the business cards in hand. The most important part - follow up with those you met within 48 hours.
Happy New Year, everyone, and better yet…Happy New You!