Whenever you attend an event, you should have the goal of meeting new people. Don’t spend your entire time talking with people whom you know. In order to start building relationships at these events, you must follow certain protocols. Without taking the time to effectively and efficiently meet people, you will have a difficult time building new relationships.
1. Smile – When approaching people and talking to them, smile at them, which shows that you are approachable, positive, and likeable. If you have a cold presence, then people won’t want to talk to you.
2. Firm Handshake – When introducing yourself to others, give a firm handshake, which shows confidence and assertiveness. You don’t want others to think that you are unsure of yourself.
3. Don’t Interrupt – During a conversation, don’t interrupt people who are talking to you. By interrupting you are being rude and showing that you don’t care about what they are saying. Wait for pauses or other appropriate times before you start speaking.
4. Ask Questions – Show that you are engaged and interested in what is said by asking good and insightful questions. People will appreciate your interest.
5. Don’t Over Sell Your Firm – When meeting people, you need to focus on getting to know others first before you sell your firm’s products or services. Nothing turns off people more than when you are trying selling hard at a networking event. If you build a relationship, then over time, it is okay and natural to talk more about your firm.
6. Don’t Shove Your Business Card into Someone’s Hand – It is important that you don’t give out your business card unless some asks for it. You want someone to show an interest in you, otherwise, your card will probably be thrown away. Many people have a tendency to give out business cards in the beginning of a conversation. Wait until the conversation is over and for someone to ask for it.
7. Wear Your Nametag in Correct Position – Many people don’t know the proper location to wear a nametag. The correct position is high and to the right because as you shake with your right hand, your name is in the line of sight. Executives generally know this so it looks good if you understand this as well. Of course, this doesn’t work with a lanyard nametag. One suggestion is to create your own nametag that you take with you to events.
8. Don’t Talk Too Long – It is recommended that you don’t spend more than 10 minutes with each person who you meet. After all, you are attending an event to meet multiple people. Also, don’t spend much time talking to people whom you already know. It is okay to catch up and reconnect but don’t let it take all of your time.
9. Don’t Be Confrontational – Be polite in all of your conversations. You don’t want people to feel uncomfortable with you so try to talk about neutral topics. Try to stay away from politics and religion, which can be tricky topics.
10. Say Goodbye to People – On your way out of the event, try to find the people who you intend to follow-up with and tell them goodbye. Most people don’t do this so it will help you stand out and become more memorable. Plus, it is a good gesture.
What other rules can you share?
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