• Know your ideal prospect.
  • Rehearse questions that will eliminate all other suspects quickly.
  • Set written goals:
    • # of conversations: How many people will you speak to?
    • # of leads for appointments: How many “actionable” business cards will you take?
  • Organize your mobile “office” (i.e., your clothing)
    • Pocket for your cards (same one all the time)
    • Pocket for their cards (same one all the time)
  • Name badge
    • Place on right breast (to be seen when you are shaking hands)
    • Use font that is readable from 3 feet away in dim light
  • Dress not to be noticed but to be appropriate for group and comfort

At a networking event, DO:

  • Expect to learn about contacts; get leads; maybe get an appointment
  • Meet new people; establish contacts; learn about people; exchange info/leads
  • Discover opportunities you can address; tease / build around how you can impact
  • Make arrangements for a future phone call to set up appointment. Ask for the administrative assistant’s (gatekeeper’s) name. (Ask your new contact to have them tell assistant he/she is “expecting my call,” and offer a second card for the assistant.)

Working the event

  • Meeting & Greeting:
    • Use firm handshake (not limp; don’t crush).
    • Note eye color of person to whom you’re talking.
    • Politely use prepared disengagement line.
    • Move on quickly.
  • Body Language:
    • Relaxed (comfortable).
    • Open stance (engaging).
    • Approachable smile (inviting).
  • Manners:
    • Don’t interrupt.
    • Don’t monopolize other people’s time.
    • Do invite 3rd and 4th parties into conversation as soon as possible.
  • Respect:
    • Other people’s time.
    • Other people’s space.

After the event

  • Make desired or committed follow-up contacts within 48 hours
  • Keep score – measure your performance / measure fruitfulness of event or event type:
    #talks #cards taken #dials afterwards #appointments #closed sales
  • Study the performance ratios:
    Leads-to-conversations Appointments-to-leads Closes-to-appointments
  • Evaluate results from each network event you attend from time to time to validate that your return on investment of time, effort and money is worth it.