7 Steps To Network Like A Pro

Posted December 4, 2013 by Kit Graham in Networking Buzz
Networking events are a great way to meet new people with similar interests, but they can be hectic and stressful. How can you make the most of networking opportunities?

Here are 7 simple steps to make the most out of networking events.

  1. Be prepared. Bring business cards, and be able to explain who you are and what you do in 2-3 sentences. First impressions are important, and people are more likely to remember you if you are well spoken.
  2. Always introduce yourself to the host. Your first priority should be to meet the host and to thank them for the invitation to the event. Manners go a long ways. Also, the person hosting the event likely knows many of the people in attendance, and can introduce you around.
  3. Ask to be introduced. Ask friends if they know other people in attendance, and ask for an introduction. The purpose of networking events is meet new people, so try to have discussions with several people you have never met before.
  4. Set a good example. If people see that you help others, they will be more likely to help you. Become someone that connects people. Introduce people at events, and help others expand their networks.
  5. Have something to talk about. Be up to date on news in your industry. Current news stories relating to your industry can be a great icebreaker when speaking with people you just met.
  6. Keep in touch. Send follow up emails to the people you met. Follow up on anything you discussed. Did they say that you need to meet their friend who is in the same industry as you? Ask them to introduce you either in person or via email. Networking events are only effective if you say in touch with people afterwards.
  7. Make a lasting impression. Send a thank you note to whomever hosted the networking event. This will ensure that you are invited to future networking events. Few people send thank you notes these days, so this is a very classy way to make an impression.

About the Author

Kit Graham

Kit Graham is the author of The Gourmet Grilled Cheese Cookbook and thekittchen.com, a food site focused on original and practical recipes. Kit's work has been featured on Refinery 29, Eater, The Frisky, 300 Sandwiches, One Woman Shop, Break Thru Radio and The Urbaness. She is also a founding member of The Second City Food Wine + Social Club and the Windy City Blogger Collective.