“People hire your awesome, amazing self,” said Dean Guadagni to more than 50 Marin Professionals at one of their recent weekly meetings. Dean’s hour-long presentation was a primer of Networking Tips for both face-to-face and online meet-ups.
Read on for some of Dean’s advice and a few lists of DO’s and DON’Ts:
“When you attend a networking event, be prepared to listen and create open discussion,” Dean told the group of Baby Boomers in search of new careers.
Show genuine interest in people and their businesses, and you will create connections.
Six Steps to Engage Others
1. Build charisma: Make friends by being friendly. Start out with the attitude that you will make new friends, that you want to be there with the group.
2. Introduce and refocus: Once you;ve exchanged names, ask your new friend to describe him or herself.
3. Be quiet: Give the other person the chance to talk.
4. Concentrate: Listen carefully so you will understand the other person.
5. Follow up: Ask questions to find out more about your new friend.
6. Be attentive: Make eye contact and maintain it. Use appropriate body language signals to show that you are listening.
Now for some DON’Ts
1. Don’t focus on selling yourself, your services, or your products.
2. Don’t be the first in a pair to pitch your elevator speech [i.e., your mini resume].
3. Don’t “Work the Room” by flitting from one person to another merely to collect names.
4. Don’t sollicit advice from people you have just met; wait until you know them.
5. Don’t beg for introductions; focus on the person you are speaking to.
6. Don’t turn off your ears; practice active listening.
7. Don’t monopolize a conversation or no one will want to continue being with you.
8. Don’t forget to acknowledge the message of the host organization.
9. Don’t ignore your responsibility to do some homework and research whom you want to meet.
10. Don’t ask for value before you give it: establish rapport from which to build upon.
Provide VALUE: Give before you receive
“If people do not want to connect with you, perhaps you are not adding value,” said Dean, who offered a quote from Jeffrey Gitomer:
Give something that others value, give it often, and give it without asking for anything in return.
“We all have valuable skills and knowledge to share. Identify the things that people would consider valuable and make a plan on how to deliver your expertise,” Dean explained.
Finally, a dozen “logistical” tips:
1. Dress for success: first impressions are KEY.
2. Be early: networking time is increased and organizers are more available. this will make you $$$.
3. Name tags: wear them on your right lapel so people will see your name when they shake your hand.
4. Cell phones off or on vibrate: go outside the meeting room if you must talk.
5. Notes: write on the back of business cards to help you remember details.
6. Cards: bring enough for the event; if you don’t have a business card, make yourself a general introduction card.
1. Problems: Leave them at home.
2. Disingenuous Schmoozing: Don’t just slap cards in hands and run off.
3. Alcohol: Avoid spirits and give yourself the advantage over all those who are drinking.
4. Interrupting: No one likes a little kid who needs to be in every conversation.
5. Underdressing: Be professional in your appearance; don’t give the impression you do not care.
6. Overpromising: Don’t say you will do things and then underdeliver.
One thing this Networking Post still needs is stories: Any readers have a networking anecdote to share? Here’s a “link” to LinkedIn’s Network capabilities. Also CBS Money Watch offered these cautions for online jobseekers.
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