Monday, November 16, 2009

Networking Tips Competition

I recently ran a competition through Twitter, Facebook and through my newsletter for people to win tickets to this week's Entrepreneurs in London event. To win, I invited readers to submit their best networking tip.

Congratulations to Stirling Murray, Sarah Decent and Steve Short who each won a ticket and to Anne Whatley, who was originally selected as a winner but who couldn't make the event.

Here are a selection of some of the best entries.

Getting stuck in conversation with someone when you really want to move on can be difficult to break without appearing rude.

My strategy is to say “Lets network with that group over there”. Move next to them, wait for the intro and then join the conversation.

When all talking together I can then make my excuses and move on.

I then get to talk to someone else and no-one in the group I’ve just left feels either rebuffed or offended.

It works because you never end up leaving someone alone feeling stranded.

Jonathan Wainwright
FCG Consultancy Ltd

Always network with passion, putting out what you want to get back!
It’s a winner!!

Ashley Blackmore

My top tip is for anyone who is about to attend a network for the first time. Something I've found very helpful to prepare myself for that daunting first meeting is to take a look at what the other members of the network do. I then have a think about ways in which I may be able to help them, particularly wrt potential referrals.

Not only does this make you look like a superb networker, it also can settle the nerves a bit as you'll know that you'll always have something to talk about that will be interesting to your fellow networkers, namely themselves and ways in which they can get some additional business!

Sarah Decent
Owner, Modish

A good tip for someone who is new to networking and is shy and reserved (just like me) !! and is not comfortable with approaching people/groups is to get to the event nice and early before anyone else and then the first person to arrive will go to you!

Steve Short
Comedy and Close Up Magic

Always be neat, tidy and dressed to represent your personality, so you feel comfortable and confident.

Walk in with confidence, smile, be enthusiastic show interest in others and they should show interest in you and then move on!

Angela Marshall
Appearance Management

(The woman responsible for the way I look!)

Maintain Eye Contact whether it’s a meeting that lasts 30 seconds or 30 minutes. It’s the best measure of sincerity and passion!!

Stirling Murray
CEO The Core Business plc

I like to write notes on the back of a contacts card in front of them before we part. I think it shows a level of commitment and interest in them and what they do. People remember you for that, as they will undoubtably be swapping many cards on a networking night, this marks out the experience for them.

Asif Mirza

Never dismiss anyone as unhelpful to you because of what they do - you never know who they know - and you never know who in your network might need them at some stage so you can make an introduction!

Embrace everyone you meet equally!

Anne Whatley

Thank you to everyone who took the time to enter and share their tips. Please share your own networking tips by commenting on this blog.

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