Networking Made Easy

There is a lot of advice dispensed from so-called networking experts, but I’ll bet you dollars to doughnuts I’ve been to more network events than most of them have. How many networking events have I been to?  I stopped counting a long time ago. In my vast experience, I’ve learned a trick or two.  Here is the information I’m willing to share.  If you see me at a networking event, lets swap cards.  I think the two of us could work together…


  • Networking is not a time to sell, but a time to make contacts.
  • Ask about other networker’s businesses, and then tell them about yours.
  • Find out how you and the person you’re networking with can benefit each other.

Events to Attend:

  • Focus on events that attract your target prospect.
  • Attend events outside of the typical type of event you normally go to, as there are likely to be fewer people offering the same service as you.
  • Treat every event you attend as a networking opportunity.
  • Have a 30-second commercial (elevator speech) prepared.
  • Prepare you’re your name tag with a BIG first name and smaller business name.
  • Be the first to arrive. You will have a chance to start conversations quickly.
  • State your name, business, and a quick value statement when introduced.
  • Make connections with others by being a resource.

Business Cards:

  • Carry business cards at all times!
  • Make sure your business card conveys the correct message.
  • Make a note on the back of business cards to jar your memory when you give someone a call.

When networking remember to:

  • Listen, as this will help you understand other networker’s potential pains and challenges.
  • Use FORE (Family, Occupation, Recreation, Entertainment) to create bonding conversations.
  • Ask potential prospects “How can I help you?”
  • When you meet a good contact, make an appointment to get together one-on-one right away.
  • Follow-up within 24-hours and choose the right medium according to the recipient (seriously, no one used handwritten notes anymore).

Top-of-the-Mind Awareness (TOMA):

  • How often do you contact your prospects?
  • What are you sending or saying to prospects (do you automatically add them to your monthly newsletter)?
  • What is your call to action?

Most importantly: Word-of-Mouth or Referral Marketing should be an integral part of your integrated marketing plan.

I hate to do this, but what networking guide would be complete without a little bit of stock dialogue?  Be interested, be interesting, and NEVER leave a networking event until you’ve handed out all of your business cards.  Happy networking!!