1 Look at the people and visualise growing business
2 Get there early if you are a guest as you will feel more comfortable when there are less people and this gives you a chance for time with your host.
3 Take a deep breath if you feel a little nervous. Remember you are usually there for business purposes; do not waste the time.
4 Try to find out who your fellow guests are before the event. This gives you a great chance to seek out people who you wish to meet and do business with.
5 Carry a pen if you are a serious networker. This is your work tool for the night.
6 Stay as long as possible. You often find other serious business networkers staying on. Those are the people you really want to meet.
7 Approach people and talk to those you do not know. Other people will be as apprehensive as you and will welcome you with open arms if you take the lead.
8 Pick someone who looks approachable – look for the smile and eye contact from them and you do it too.
9 Interrupt politely into a group and ask if they mind you joining. People will never say no as they are there to network to. Do not change the subject until the appropriate moment.
10 Rehearse the answer to “what do you do”? when asked. Make it sound interesting and exciting; highlight what benefits your existing clients receive from your service or products.
11 Say “I help people to become more successful” if you are a banker rather than “I am a banker” when asked. Consider the difference in impact on your listener.
12 Prepare subjects to ask about in case you are stuck for things to say. Ask the other party about their job, holidays, family, their views on sporting events or current affairs.
13 Remember constantly “givers gain”. The more you give the more you will get back in return. Create an “abundance” reputation rather than a “scarcity” reputation.