Effective Networking Etiquette Tips
Posted by Liz Taylor May 29, 2013
I was recently invited to speak at the Minnesota Society of CPA’s convention and was very impressed with the group of attendees. Part of my project involved attending the cocktail reception and helping attendees with networking skills. I was asked great questions and want to share some of the answers with you.
- Nametag placement: If you are given a nametag at a networking event, place it under your right hand shoulder. Most people are right handed and it’s the easiest way for people to read your name.
- Know your targets ahead of time. Most executives consider a networking event a huge success if their employees connect with three people per event. So, figure out who you want to meet ahead of time and research them through Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.
- Business card caution: Wait until someone asks you for a card before you hand it out. Keep your cards in a metal or leather holder. They should be crisp, clean and a direct extension of you. Never write on someone’s card in front of them.
- Include others. If another person joins your conversation, make introductions, welcome the person, make a comment or ask a question to engage the person in your conversation.
- Avoid the temptation to socialize with colleagues.
- Avoid dirty laundry, gossip and controversial topics.
- Introductions should include four simple steps: Stand up, look the person in the eye and smile, have a firm grip, say your name and repeat their name.
- Order of introduction: Always talk first to the person who is more important. “Mr. Client, I would like to introduce our senior partner, Tom Smith, to you.”
- Focus on them: No matter whom you’re speaking with, show genuine interest. Ask questions, listen to the answers and offer value back.
- Be respectful: Not everyone you speak with will be high on your target list and you might not be high on theirs. Give everyone a few minutes, don’t blow people off immediately or take up too much of their time.
- Thank you. A hand-written card is the best way to set you apart from your potential competition. People get joy from receiving a thoughtful thank you letter.
- Confidence is key. Being confident is the best way to make a great first impression. People like to do business with confident people.
“How refreshing and timely. From the texting generation to the baby boomers—the art of etiquette is sadly disappearing. Whether you just need a touch-up or a full immersion, Liz, is the person to teach you the skills to appear confident, elegant and professional in any business situation. Her energetic and engaging style will make this one of the most enjoyable seminars you have ever taken! Liz is awesome!”
—Chuck Bokar, Principal, Design Resource Center
“Absolutely superb! Liz has an amazing knack for presenting her concepts in a thought-provoking and clear style. Her ideas and suggestions would enhance anyone's ability to bridge the gap between business and etiquette. She clearly has a deep understanding of not only the topic, but the thought processes that go into creating better interpersonal relationships out of socially awkward situations. I highly recommend her and her coursework...she will help your business!”
—Brad Guck, District Manager, Administaff
“Liz, Thank you so much for coming to Indianapolis to help us grow our skills as professionals and as people. Your presentation helped us address issues with grace, candor, sensitivity – as well as fun! You were fabulous!”
—Betsy Hamlett, Director of Sales for Kenra, Ltd.