best networking introduction

Networking 101: 11 Tips to 1-on-1 Meeting Success (Part I: The First Five)

Dean Mercado Coaching & Strategy

Hey! Do you want some business networking tips? It’s scary out there! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve encountered so-called business professionals who simply didn’t get it. They simply didn’t get the fact that business is all about people. They simply didn’t get the fact that people do business with people they know, like, and trust. They simply weren’t willing to invest the time and effort needed to develop strong, mutually beneficial, and enduring relationships. Yet they wonder why this marketing strategy called networking doesn’t seem to be working for them.

These types of business professionals are what I call “surface networkers” and there are literally tons of them out there just cluttering up the networking avenues. The good thing about it though, is the vast opportunity it presents to those who really do know how to play the networking game… “players” so to speak…they tend to stand out like a beacon of light.

So you’re out their networking your tail off at a local networking event and you’ve met what you believe to be a “player”. They’re magnetic. They’re charismatic. They just seem to emanate this vibe that makes them irresistible. You reach out to them after the networking event and schedule a 1-on-1 “get-to-know-you-better” type of meeting. Now what?

You want to impress this person. You want to go deep. You want to explore how you may be able to help each other going forward. How can you make sure you give yourself the best chance of accomplishing that? Well here in part 1 of this 2 part series are the first 5 of the 11 tips that can help you do just that. So here goes the first five of your business networking tips:

1. Come Prepared To Play
For starters, Google them. Check out their web site. Read their current news letter. Do they have any current press releases? If so, read them. In other words find out a little something about them as well as their industry prior to the meeting. This is a sure sign of diligence and respect.

2. Confirm the Appointment at least 24 hours in Advance
Face it, we’re not perfect. And as busy professionals we can sometimes fall victim to our own busyness. That said… a little courtesy reminder can go a long way.

3. Dress for Success
One rule here; Dress as best you can without making the person you’re meeting with feel uncomfortable.

4. Make It Easy For Them to Find You
If needed, provide directions to the meeting location. Exchange cell phone numbers. And just in case they may not remember what you look like… and yes don’t flatter yourself, this is a possibility… wear something distinctive and let them know about it (e.g. I’ll be wearing a green tie).

5. Be Respectful of Their Time
Arrive early and wrap it up on time. If for some reason you’re going to be late, give them a quick courtesy call. If the conversation is going so well that it’s about to go into overtime, make them aware of the time and either continue with the meeting (if it’s acceptable to both parties of course) or, break out your calendar and set a follow-up meeting to pick up where you left off.

That about wraps up the first five tips of “11 Tips to 1?on?1 Meeting Success”. In part II I’ll share 6 more whoppers that can make or break any meeting. Stay tuned.

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