Beforehand, be clear what you want to get out of the networking
Choose a networking group where you feel comfortable, where you like the people and the size of the group suits you.
Plan and practice your pitch in case the opportunity arises. If you get your pitch right it will drive the correct people to you and save you having to find them in the meeting.
Take your business cards, ones that reflect why you are there rather than a redundant business.
Ask people what they are looking for, rather than giving them the hard sell of your product or service.
Listen to what they say.
Take a business card from everyone. They may not appear interesting to you but it’s the people they know that matters.
Ask if you can write on their business card and write down key points that will help you remember them.
Try to speak to lots of people and not a few people for a long time. You can always follow up later for a detailed discussion. Aim for 10 conversations and business cards per event.
Follow-up all conversations with at least an email or a phone call.
Arrange a 1 to 1 coffee meeting where you can get to know them better and they can ask more about you. It doesn’t have to be all about business. Some meetings don’t work but I have had more success from these meetings than anything else.
Arrange another meeting to keep in touch if necessary.
Keep in touch with your contacts on a regular basis.
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