Remember the old days when social networking meant actual face time with people? Whether at a trade show, in the elevator, or at a business lunch, networking happened in a much different way. Even with all the online social networking that is available, it is still essential to know how to network face-to-face.
With all the social engagements that occur this time of year, the holiday season can be the perfect time to hone your networking skills.
Here are a few reminders about how you can network effectively:
• Be confident, but not pompous or arrogant. You are just as important as the person you are meeting, but you are not the star of the show.
• Get to know the person you are talking to, and save your agenda until you know the person better.
• If you are with someone, be sure to introduce them as well. The more interaction, the merrier.
• Don’t be afraid to share something you are passionate about. You may strike common ground and create a lasting impression.
• If you have an idea to share, make it brief. A drop in the bucket is better than a whole bucketful.
• An invitation to coffee or a drink is more inviting than a meal. If there is more to chat about, the conversation can continue over dinner.
• Don’t fake it. Just be you. Lasting business relationships must be grounded in the truth.
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