Networking – my 13 top tips (part 2 of 2)

5th December 2023

Last week, I shared seven of my 13 top tips for how to be brilliant when networking.

Quick recap – they were:

  1. Think like a host, not a guest
  2. Know your opening
  3. Be interested
  4. Prepare great questions
  5. Ask “tell me more?”
  6. Prepare your elevator pitch (using AFTERs)
  7. Tell stories

And here are the final six:

  1. Keep conversations short. Networking, ultimately, is a filtering activity. Some people you’ll filter in – you want to speak with them again. Others, you’ll filter out – politely, of course! So, establish asap whether you want to filter them in or out… and use techniques 9 and 10 with the ‘ins’ and technique 11 with the ‘outs’
  2. Arrange to see ‘Interesting People’ again. If you have a chat with someone that you both enjoy, and will both benefit from speaking again, arrange that you’ll call them the next day. And then…
  3. … always follow-up immediately. The best networkers are the best follow-uppers. So, within 24 hours of the event, contact the ‘Interesting People’ you met, and schedule a follow-up chat with them
  4. Know how you’ll end conversations – effectively and politely. It’s important you know how to get out of a networking conversation, or you’ll stay in it for too long. My favourite way is to (1) ask who they are hoping to meet at the event and (2) promise that, if I meet these people, I will facilitate an intro. I then use the past tense – “I have ENJOYED our chat”. They respond using the past tense too. And we go our separate ways
  5. Go with a friend. It’s called net-work. It’s hard work. It isn’t called net-mess-about. And because it’s hard work, it’s often worth taking a friend with you. That way, you can meet up every few minutes, recharge your batteries, then go again
  6. Practice makes perfect. Since networking is a verbal activity, practise your networking wording – your opening, questions, elevator pitch etc – verbally. As in, say them out loud to yourself. That helps build your skills and confidence when you’re there

Etc etc

Remember: the #1 thing with networking is this: if you are going to do it, you might as well be brilliant at it.

Which means choosing simple techniques that will make you brilliant.

Which means…

Action Point

… next time you go networking, choose which tip(s) from the above list will make you even more brilliant at it; and then do them!

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