Another Networking Nugget from 4 1/2 Networking Mistakes:
Networking Nugget #2: Have Your Networking Tools with You at All Times
This networking nugget, along with a few to follow, is inspired by the “10 Commandments of Networking a Mixer”. I first experienced these 10 commandments in 2006, while a student at the Certified Networker® Program offered by the Referral Institute®. These commandments were created by Dr. Ivan Misner and can be found in their entirety in “The World’s Best Known Marketing Secret,”
There are a few tools you always want to have with you to most productively work a networking event. These include:
- A Curiosity Name Tag
- Business Cards. As a serious professional focused on growing your business by referral, you want to have more than enough business cards available for each event. Leave extras in your car, pocket, bag, etc., as a guarantee.
- Your goal is to book the meeting from the meeting, which means scheduling a follow-up meeting right away instead of trading emails and phone calls later. Carry your calendar to make this easier, whether it is a paper calendar or an electronic one.
- Writing Instrument. Have a pen or pencil to take notes with and schedule appointments.
A silver Sharpie is a particularly good choice because it will write on almost every business card.
- Breathe Mints/Gum. Make sure people will want to speak to you instead of running away! A healthy alternative is peppermint oil; a few drops will refresh your breath.
- A Smile. Be approachable by always displaying a great smile and positive attitude. If you are having a bad day, fake it ‘til you make it or just stay away!
I recommend storing these necessities in a single place in your car, perhaps with backups (just in case), so your networking tools are always with you.