1. Dress appropriately and comfortably for the event. Every networking event
does not require a suit and tie. Check the dress code on the flyer or invitation. However,
the rule of thumb is if you are pursuing a job or position, dress as you would if you had the position. Simply
“look the part.”
2. Make sure you have business cards with your name, organization,
phone number, fax, email and website (if you have one).
3. Have an ink pen, a cell phone and a jotter (small pocket size
pad) in case your prospect is not prepared.
4. Bring two business card holders. One for your cards and one
for the cards you collect. Keep them in two separate pockets.
Research your event. Find
out who will be attending. Identify those individuals who you want to meet. Google information
about them so you can find common interests to use as a basis for establishing rapport. Contact people
who can provide you with information about your prospective contact. Keep this information on a 3x5 card or on your jotter
pad to review just before you make contact with this individual.
6. Seek out resources that may be of interest to your specific targets, i.e. news clipping or magazine
articles regarding resources or innovations in their field.
7. Make contact with the host prior to attendance
so when you arrive, they will recognize you and help you connect with others.
Have a networking goal.
You should have a Strategic Networking Action Plan (S.N.A.P.) that covers your long term goals and specific objectives
for that evening. For example, your overall goal is to increase your contacts in your field by 50 people
with targeted date of December 2009. Your evening’s objective is meet five new contacts.
9. Prioritize a list of specific individuals with whom you wish to make contact. You don’t
want to get caught up talking with someone not on your list and have your primary target come and go.
10. Ensure you have memorized or have notes to review on your prospect.
11. Have a prepared introduction (two minute commercial) and questions that you practiced
ready to go.
12. Take the time to visualize and mentally practice making contact
with your prospect. See yourself successfully establishing relationships and reaching your goals.