5 Strategies for Effective Networking


Most of us are juggling enormous amounts of information and multiple distractions on a day-to-day basis. So is it really surprising when we forget a name five seconds after being introduced? How many of us can match every face and conversation with a business card following a networking event?

Having a network of people who know who you are and what you do can be a valuable source of business and even referrals. If you want to stand out in a crowd by being the one people remember, you will need to do more than just shake hands and pass out business cards.

At your next networking event, try these five tips to help make yourself be memorable to those you meet.

  1. Wear your personal brand in some way. From bow ties to unusual jewelry, you can wear your personal brand to help you be remembered. I have a friend who always wears pretty brightly colored skirts to networking events. I can spot her the minute she enters the room in the sea of navy blue and black suits. Just remember to be professional so that you are remembered for the right reasons.
  2. Be interested in everyone you meet. Nothing is more disheartening than to try and have a conversation with someone who is scanning the room for someone more interesting than you to speak with. Listen carefully, respond in kind, and maintain eye contact during your conversation. Many people appear disconnected so being completely engaged will help you stand out and be remembered.
  3. Ask personal questions. In general, most people are passionate about what they do and they love nothing more than the opportunity to share that passion with others. By asking questions such as “How did you get started in this line of work?” or “What do you love most about what you do?” you will make a positive connection to that person. You will be remembered as someone who took a genuine interest in them personally.
  4. Develop a 30-seconds or less introduction. If your response to the question “what do you do?” is longer than 30 seconds, people are less likely to remember it. Think about what you wish to emphasize about yourself and put it together into a concise introduction. Include the key things you want people to remember about you such as your name, your company, what you do, and where you do it. Then add some interest by explaining the story behind your company’s name or something similar to help them remember that particular detail.
  5. Create value in group conversations. Don’t just talk for the sake of talking and don’t be that guy who “hogs” the conversation talking about himself, his kids, and his vacation to the beach. Ask questions, contribute valuable information, and stay relevant.

The bottom line is that the experience people have when they meet you will become your personal brand. The impression you make will also reflect on your business. You only get one chance at a good first impression, so make it a good one.

Author: Bethany Meadows is the owner of Vertical Solutions Media Inc. She has over 20 years of solid marketing experience in a wide array of industries including insurance, financial, pharmaceutical, retail, hospitality, and more. Learn more at our Contributors tab.

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