Mar 14, 2013


...not NET-SIT or NET EAT!
by Jerry Schwartz & Vince Vigneri

Many business professionals jump at the opportunity to go to a business mixer to meet new clients. However when they get there they cringe inside at the thought of walking up to someone and starting a conversation.  Many others are focused on what to say or who do I talk to. So instead of getting out of your comfort zone you look for that friendly face. Grab some food, get a drink and talk to the person you already know and have talked to many times that week.

With the right planning, the process does not have to be traumatic, scary, or a waste of time.  When done properly, it can truly make a difference in building up your word of mouth referral business. With the right approach, you can use it to build a wealth of resources and contacts that will help to make your business very successful.

Here is a guide to using your time effectively at a typical 90 minute networking function:

  • Take the first 10 minutes, get a drink, something to eat and say hi to your friends.
  • The next 30 minutes is dedicated to heavy networking.
  • Then you get another 10 minute break for some more food, drink and friends.
  • Now it’s time for another 30 minute stretch of heavy networking.
  • Take the rest of the time to wind down, catch up and yes; you deserve another drink and something to eat!

Ivan R. Misner,Ph.D. in his book, “The World’s Best Known Marketing Secrets, talks about the Ten Commandments for Better Networking. This is a great guide to helping you be prepared for the event you are going to.

  1. Have the tools to network with you at all times (your business cards).
  2. Set a goal for the number of people you’ll meet. 
  3. Act like a host, not a guest.
  4. Listen and ask questions. 
  5. Don’t try to close a deal. 
  6. Give referrals whenever possible. 
  7. Exchange business cards.  
  8. Manage your time efficiently. 
  9. Write notes on the backs of business cards you collect. 
  10. Follow up!