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Networking Events – Achieve Success Using 10 Commandments

Networking Events – Achieve Success Using 10 Commandments

Dr. Ivan Misner, referred to as the “Father of Modern Networking” by CNN and the “Networking Guru” by Entrepreneur Magazine, shared the 10 Commandments of Networking an Event and how to achieve successful results. Dr. Misner is the Founder and Chairman of Business Network International (BNI), which is the world’s largest business networking organization.

Do you get “butterfly-itis” when you hear of a networking event? Do you immediately have an allergic reaction? Do not worry… it is not just you. Many people are uncomfortable but it does not have to be scary or a waste of time when you are prepared and you follow the 10 Commandments below. Networking events can build a wealth of resources and contacts to help build your business.

Commandment #1 – Have the tools to network with you at all times.
Some of the tools include business cards, brochures, and cards of other professionals to refer.

Commandment #2 – Set a goal of the number of people you are going to meet.
If you feel motivated, set a goal of 15-20 people and get all of their business cards. If you are not feeling so hot, set your goal for less. Do not leave the event until you have reached your goal.

Commandment #3 – Act like a host not a guest.
The host is expected to do things for others; so, volunteer to help greet people. If you see people sitting or standing alone, then introduce yourself. At a Chamber of Commerce event, volunteer to be an Ambassador. At a BNI event, volunteer to be a visitor host.

Commandment #4 – Listen and ask questions.
A good networker has two ears and one mouth; use them proportionally. Do not assume everyone knows your business. Be specific, but brief. Be an interviewer during this process.

Commandment #5 – Do not try to close a deal.
Networking is about building and developing relationships with business people and other professionals. This is the beginning of the process, not the end of it.

Commandment #6 – Give referrals whenever possible.
Networking is based on the concept of “givers gain”; what comes around goes around. If I help you, you will help me and we will all do better. If you do not genuinely attempt to help others, you are not networking effectively.

Commandment #7 – Exchange business cards.
Ask for two cards from each attendee; one to keep for you and one to pass on to someone else as a referral. This sets the stage for networking to happen.

Commandment #8 – Manage your time effectively and efficiently.
Do not spend too much time with any one person (10 minutes or less). Keep in mind your goal. If you connect with someone very interesting, set up appointments for a later date/time.

Commandment #9 – Write notes on backs of business cards you collect.
This is an easy way to remember who you talked to and any pertinent information. This also makes
Commandment #10 a lot easier.

Commandment #10 – Follow-up!
You can obey Commandments 1-9 religiously, but if you do not follow-up, you will have wasted your time. Drop a note or give each new contact a call and be sure to fulfill any promises you have made.

Follow these 10 Commandments at your next networking event and you will find much greater success!

To your success,
Andrea Petoskey