10 Tips for networking success

Some people groan when they hear the word "networking".

It is a bit of a buzzword, but if you substitute the words "connect", "interact", "meet people", "make contacts" or "exchange ideas" it doesn't sound so bad and it's great for business.

Networking is about building relationships and it is a critical tool for growing business.

Here are some tips to help you at the next event you attend:

  1. Be professionally presented - you are the face of your business.  
  2. Have an introduction ready - prepare and practice a 30 second "intro" . Include who you are, what you do, the sort of customers you have and the benefits you bring to your customers.  
  3. Have a professionally printed business card with all the essentials - business name, your name, phone number, email, website and description of business product/service.  
  4. Go with the mindset of helping others; don't go expecting it to be all about yourself.  
  5. Concentrate on listening and getting to know the person you are talking to.  
  6. Don't just stay with the people you know - you are there to meet new people.  
  7. Don't just go around the room handing your business card to as many people as possible.  
  8. Networking is also about referring people you know onto people you meet - help connect the dots. Your good deeds will be rewarded.  
  9. Be positive and polite to the people you meet.  
  10. Take a deep breath, be brave and practice!