Business Etiquette Practices and Tools to Connect

Practices that will keep you connected in the right ways with your market!

Would you network with you? November 23, 2009

Filed under: Better Business Practices,Networking,Uncategorized — Kay Wallace @ 4:19 am

Have you ever asked yourself the question “Would I network with me?”. I am making the assumption that you understand the importance of networking  for your business.  Every networking event I attend I meet at least one person that I have no intention of building a relationship with and here’s why.

Which networker are you?

Talker or Listener? I am a huge talker and am always one of the most visible at an event. I do that by design because visibility attracts business. However, when I meet someone new I make sure the conversation is completely focused on them. I use the 80%/20% rule. I listen 80% and I talk only 20%. My goal is to learn more about them than I tell about me. I am actually testing them on how they handle our first encounter. If they are more focused on handing me their card and being a “Vomiting Vera” about their business then I will probably trash their card and not follow-up. I want to connect with people who I can build a mutually beneficial relationship with.

Dress up or Dress down? There is some leeway on this subject depending on the type of event you are attending BUT consider branding yourself by what you wear. I see a lot of the same people at events and I identify them as professionals because they are always dressed for business. Of course, there are typically a few dressed in jogging suits, baseball caps and baggy jeans. These are people I would probably not do business with or refer to my clients. Consider standing out at these events with your attire. I have a business associate that attends every networking event with a fedora type hat. He is in the promotional products industry but can be identified across the room. As for myself, I wear bright colors because that makes me easily identifiable.

Eye contact or eye wanderer? Making eye contact during your conversations indicate you are focused on what that person is saying. There is nothing wrong in looking around the room but keep it to only 20% of the time. Concentrate 80% of your attention on the person or group you are speaking with.

Stander or Mover? You may not have an outgoing personality but don’t stand in a corner or sit in one spot and wait for people to come to you. Moving and working the room allows you more visibility and the ability to end a conversation more gracefully when it is time to move on. Moving helps you meet more people. If you want to be a stander then stand by the food table because everyone will coming to that area eventually. The idea is to keep the flow of people going.

Next time you attend a networking event, ask yourself “Would I network with me?”


6 Responses to “Would you network with you?”

  1. I am the talker who dresses down while eye wanderer who likes to move. I am learning a ton from you! Thanks for all you teach. Give someone an aweosme day!

  2. Todd Pillars Says:

    I feel best when I’m dressed up. I tend to move around the room and I love to meet new people.

    I am getting better at direct eye contact and remembering names.

    Thanks Kay for a timely post 🙂

    Wishing you the very best day of your life!

  3. Excellent advice & observations about one’s appearance. We have but one opportunity to make a good first impression!

  4. Barb Corsa Says:

    Great article & tips!

    When I first started out going to these events, I was a “Vomiting Vera”, but I’ve learned to ask about their business, give a very short elevator speech about my own, and return the focus onto what they do. I mingle first, then have also found that standing by the food table will allow people to find you again.

    I always wear a name tag and dress professionally in a black suit, changing the color of my blouse.

  5. Seth Front Says:

    Great article Kay. So tell me, should I dress up more even though I have a line of casual t-shirts? Am I sending the wrong impression?

    • Kay Wallace Says:

      Seth, I think you wearing your Jewish Zodiac shirts works for you because it automatically promotes what you do. I have seen you in jackets a few times too which punches up your look. If you have a story that goes with the shirt you are wearing at an event that could be your conversation starter. Instead of telling them what you do, point to your shirt and tell a quick story behind it. Just a thought! Ask a few people you know well for their opinion and you may get a number of ideas.

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