Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Art of Networking

The more I read about networking, whether in person or online, the more I see recurring themes. There seems to be a similar opinion among networking experts and gurus as to how to most effectively network. Before I share the recurring themes let me share about a person who I have observed many times “work a room.”
Imagine the super-networker, as he enters the room. Watch him quickly scan the room looking for the key people he ultimately wants to meet. T he super networker moves confidently through the room, greeting everyone he comes near. He is quick to reach out and shake hands. The super-networker’s genuine smile has this way of making each person feel that he has been waiting all day just to talk to them. Usually, it is because he asks them a question that then allows them to talk about themselves. A question much deeper than the average, “How are you?” When the time is right, he either offers information or provides an important connection. After having this short conversation, he quickly excuses himself by offering the person something available in the room as if he is the host of the event. He then moves on to find the next person moving ever closer to the people he came to see.

The characteristics of a Super Networker are easy to spot:
1. He attends networking meetings. He shows up!
2. Has a compelling 30 second speech that tells people what he does.
3. Comes with a plan and a goal in mind.
4. Acts like the host of the event not a guest.
5. Asks powerful questions.
6. Listens more than speaks.
7. Gives information and connections.
8. Has a call to action.
9. Follows up with connections made.
10. Delivers on any agreements made.To be a Super-Networker you’ve got to practice. It’s best to practice at a real event. There is no better time to start than toda

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