Smart networkers holding a networking event, cfo

7 Best Networking Practices

By Mckenna Gustafson, blog writer at TOP CFOS

They say that it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Nothing is truer than this in the business world. This is why networking is extremely important for forming new business connections. Today we bring you some simple things that you’ll find top networkers doing before, during, and after networking events.

Before the Networking Event:
  1. Know who will be there. If possible, find a list of who else will be there and plan who you want to talk to. Be strategic; don’t just wander around hoping that the right person will come and talk to you. Find someone who will be able to introduce you to who you want to talk to.
  2. Make it about them. Go with an attitude of service toward the other people there. Make it about the other people and they will come away feeling valued and validated. Ask questions and especially be prepared to ask them what you can do for them.
During the Networking Event:
  1. Ask the right questions. Don’t just ask people about their businesses, ask them questions that will help you get educated as well. Instead of “Why did you choose what you did for a career?”, Ask, “What was your inspiration to do what you do?” or “What book/article/field leader influenced your strategy the most as you got started?”
  2. Hand out contact information. Make sure you have a stack of business cards handy. Also have any literature your business publishes. Exchange cards with everyone you talk to because you never know whose hands your card could end up in.
  3. Remember who you talk to. Try jotting down a few notes on the back of someone’s business card as they are talking. This shows that you think that what they are saying is important. This also helps you remember details that you can use in further conversations. Also, you can use these notes if you forget who the name on the business card was.
After the Networking Event:
  1. Connect online immediately. Reach out with a personal message on LinkedIn. Don’t leave the auto-fill message there—mention something specific you talked about and something about how you’d like to stay connected.
  2. Follow up. People do business with people they like, know, and trust. Forming relationships with the people you come in contact with through casual coffee meetups, lunches, or online messages are ways to make sure you stay connected.

In short, the best networkers are those who are prepared before the event, genuine and focused on others during the event, and followup and connect after the event.

The bottom line is that someday one of your relationships could turn into a potential client. As you are seeking new relationships, remember to be genuine. People can tell if you are truly interested in them, or simply in selling your business’s product.

 

Don’t forget to RSVP for our CEOs-Only Networking Event going on this November 10th in Provo. RSVP here: goo.gl/jFlGki 

By: Mckenna Gustafson, executive assistant at TOP CFOS