This is a really cool article. It has 59 commandments of business networking, both when you are one on one and when in groups. Some of these are plain common sense, others are really cool, but all of them are great tips for networking.
One of the tips, talks about how to disengage from someone politely:
* You can tell them you don’t want to monopolize their time.
* You can tell them you see someone you need to speak with.
* You can excuse yourself to the restroom.
* You can tell them you’d like to continue meeting people.
Love those, and I think that I’ve had someone “disengage” with me using every one of those excuses. I wonder if it’s something I say?
1. Identify where you should go. All venues are not right for all people. You owe it to yourself to do your research and find the venues that make sense for your business.
2. Make a decision about which organizations you should join and which you don’t have to join in order to gain value from their events. For example, does it make sense to join a local chamber of commerce, or just go to the events that sound interesting and will most likely include people you should meet?
3. Register for the event and schedule it like a business meeting. Many people either don’t sign up for events or sign up for them and then forget to go.
4. Determine how often you should be networking in a given week, month or quarter. This will help you narrow down where you should be going.
5. Develop open-ended questions you can use to ignite a conversation. Try to find unique questions; don’t ask the same old “So, what do you do?” if you can help it.
6. Attend events with a plan to learn something new. This will keep you from talking too much about yourself and your business.
7.Prepare yourself physically and mentally for the event.
- Dress appropriately.
- Bring business cards.
- Turn your phone off or set it to vibrate (I’m not kidding!).