Networking: Be Prepared For First Impressions
By: Ryan Weiss
A firm shake, eye contact and clear, direct conversation. Those are three things that are my "bread and butter" when I'm actively networking. They may appear to be old fashioned techniques, however, these three actions have solidified my best networking contacts. Remember, networking can occur in any place at any time. In my experience, sometimes networking occurs while in line at a Dunkin' Donuts waiting for morning coffee. You never know.
The key, in my experience, is to always be prepared with your pitch, goal and mission. Personally, I usually have a recently planned short term goal and potential solution ready for explanation. I've found that pairing a mission (or mission statement) with a planned, attainable goal, sets the bar for conversation. A happenstance networking contact may have a referral or a lead to pass on to you that can assist in attaining your short term goal.
Your first impression on a prospective client or partner may make or break a potential business relationship. Also, be sure to carry a business card that is easily accessible as you close the initial conversation. Again, networking and information exchange can happen anywhere at anytime. The following are keys that have been integral to my own success and hopefully are valuable to your own success: A firm hand shake, eye contact, clear and direct conversation, pitch, goal and mission.
Be sure to follow my on social media: @ryanweisspro for future articles and events. Ryan Weiss is the owner of Advance Networking Consulting.