N is for Networking

the letter N1. Do your research
Every business has important principals. If you do not know their names, they will dismiss you. Learn their names and look them up on- line. Understand what you can offer them. It is not just about what they can do for you.
2. Make it all about their needs
Everyone has needs. You must tailor your pitch to specific needs. If you approach a real estate titan, they will want to know why they should spend even a minute of their time with you. Important people get pitched to all the time and have learned to weed out those wasting their time. Don’t be that person.
3. Approach people without hesitation
Smile and look friendly. Your body language speaks volumes. Point your toes towards people and have your hands relaxed. Don’t stare anyone down like a territorial dog. People don’t like to be dominated and in the business world people will find this particularly egregious. Be polite and shake hands firmly.
4. If there is already an ongoing conversation, try to hover and not intrude
A networking event is not a reality show. You cannot talk over anyone. If something pricks your ear, stand nearby and ease into an opening. Most events will have name tags and people will be open to speaking with you as long as you are not pushy.
5. Don’t spend too much time with one person
Networking events are a numbers game. You must talk to as many people as possible. Leaving a bit to talk about will make people want to connect to continue the conversation.
6. Avoid vampires
There will always be someone who wants to squeeze everything out of you. These vampires start by asking questions and then do not stop. They will scare others away and dominate your time. Be firm and say they can set up a consultation. Otherwise, you will waste the opportunity to network. If you allow the vampires to overpower you, they will.

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