A Networker’s Checklist

A Networker’s Checklist

Be Prepared

Networking is one of the most effective, by word of mouth marketing strategies you can participate in on a weekly basis.  When done correctly and with a plan in place, your business can thrive and flourish.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Networking:

  • DO ditch the pitch – no one likes to be sold, especially at a networking meeting or event
  • DO enter the networking event with the expectation of meeting people with the sole purpose of building relationships
  • DON’T be a card dealer, shoving a card in every open hand you see
  • DO exchange business cards with a purpose
  • DON’T monopolize conversations
  • DO come prepared with conversation starters

Before you arrive, do some homework:

  • Determine who will be at the event
  • Identify those who you would like to meet
  • Understand the mission or goal of the event/group you are visiting
  • Be prepared to collect cards and have a plan for what to do with them after the meeting or event
  • Craft and rehearse a 30-second commercial with a powerful, attention grabbing opening.  Ask for an introduction to key people who can help your business.  Who would be a good referral for you this week?

Materials:

A well prepared networker always has the following available during the meeting or event:

  • Bring your smile!  It makes you more approachable
  • Ample Business Cards
  • Appointment Calendar
  • Name Badge
  • Paper
  • Pen (ball point or fine tipped Sharpies write well on glossy business cards)
  • Flyers
  • Product Samples and/or Display to arrange at your seat
  • Crafted and rehearsed 30-second commercial with powerful attention grabbing opening
  • List of the 3 people you want to schedule a one-to-one meeting with
  • Breath mints…you never know when you might need one!

During The Meeting:

  • Actively listen to 30-second commercials
  • Make a list of the people who you can help and how
  • Make a list of the people you would like to schedule one-to-one meetings with
  • Try to associate names with faces (hint:  draw a map of the room and label each seat with the person’s name who is sitting at each spot)
  • Collect business cards (hint:  make notes on the cards to help you remember them and how you can help each other)
  • Be prepared to give testimonials for the people you have done business with
  • Ask for referrals!  Be specific about the business or person you are looking to meet this week
  • Schedule one-to-one meetings before people leave the meeting room

After The Meeting:

  • Follow-up and schedule one-to-one meetings with people you weren’t able to get grab before the meeting ended
  • Prepare for the next meeting.  Ask the organizer how you can help during upcoming meetings. This can help you meet more people and naturally build relationships if you have a role.
  • Send thank you notes!  Especially when you receive a referral or after a one-to-one.  This personal touch makes you memorable for the right reasons.

The bottom line is, you must have a plan to be successful at networking.  While showing up to meetings is important, it is what you do before, during and after that makes it all worthwhile.