Networking Etiquette

Andrea Nierenberg Networking is all about establishing and maintaining relationships, and building trust, therefore, exuding etiquette when doing both is good manners and common courtesy. Listed below are ten rules of business etiquette that will make networking at events and meetings a positive experience:

  1. It's better to arrive early than late: An early arrival shows enthusiasm for the event and respect for other people's time. It also affords you the opportunity to meet more people.

  2. Properly position your name tag: Place your name tag on your right-hand lapel. When meeting contacts, this will allow people to better see your name as they shake your right hand.

  3. Exchange business cards with ease: Plenty of fresh, neat business cards are a must. Place them in a pocket where they are easily accessible and be sure to keep yours separate from the cards you receive.

  4. Silently communicate your interest: Make eye contact and keep it. It is noticeable when your eyes are wandering over the room. Looking someone in the eye shows respect and interest.

  5. Extend a confident greeting: Make your handshake firm, professional, and genuine. Bone crusher or jellyfish handshakes come across as intimidating or insecure. A sincere greeting will make a lasting impression.

  6. Avoid invading personal space: Be aware of your contact's personal space. Moving in too close while conversing makes people uncomfortable. Most people consider anything closer than eighteen inches too close and will back away from you.

  7. Gracefully join conversations: Be sure to ask for permission to join a conversation in progress. Simply say, "This looks like a fun group, may I join in?" or "How do you all know each other?" You can tailor your request to fit your personality. People enjoy having you connect with them when you are courteous.

  8. Network without restrictions: Many events and meetings you attend will most likely have food. Refrain from eating and carrying on a conversation.

  9. Network in a positive state of mind: A nonalcoholic drink without ice is the easiest to handle. Why no ice? Frigid handshakes are unpleasant. Why nonalcoholic? You'll pay better attention.

  10. Politely exit conversations: Your objective at networking events should be to develop several connections. Talking with someone, learning about them and how to follow up, exchanging business cards, and moving on is an accepted practice. When exiting a conversation, politely express pleasure at having met the individual and the hope that you will meet again. Develop your strategy and follow-up.

Successful business relationships, just like successful personal relationships, rely on common courtesy. Following these simple rules of etiquette will create a more relaxing opportunity for networking and your aptitude to be well-received at events or meetings.

Category: Networking
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