What is your favourite networking tip or suggestion?

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In the tons of materials available through BNI (Business Networking International) there is an oft repeated theme:
It is not your aptitude that determines your altitude, it's your attitude.
So networking success is more about your motivation and energy than about being really good at it. This offers great hope for beginners, and for those of us who muddle along.
The most useful tip I have had (as a reluctant and shy networker) was, to look for open and closed groups at networking event.

For example, an individual who looks lost will welcome being approached. Two people facing each other won't. Two people standing at an angle have space for a third.
Three people forming three sides of a square have space for a newcomer but if they form a triangle, they don't etc.
Hi, Steve

What a great tip.

Following our great workshop today on 'Re-inventing Networking in the Age of the Internet', here are some networking tips as a starter for 10 (see the attached Word document below).

Fellow networkers - please feel free to comment on them, or to add your own.

We'll be adding more material arising from the workshop in the days to come. Best wishes. Bob
Attachments:
Me again!
When you first meet someone at a networking event / opportunity they may ask 'What do you do?' or something similar. So good practice is to have a short clear answer well prepared and ready.

This is generally known as an elevator (lift) pitch - and the idea is to say what you do, how that benefits your clients and the help/referrals you are looking for - all in a very short time span; said in 60 seconds or less without being rushed.

You step into the lift, only you and Richard Branson - he'll be getting off at the next floor, but asks you...
So ... What do you do? .....
Aim to talk to the most important person in the room. It will help build confidence in talking to everyone else.
My favourite tip is simple: Keep business cards you receive in one pocket. Put your own in another pocket. Remember which is which! Doing this helps to avoid pulling out the card of a competitor instead of your own card.
John you are so right.
I recall arriving at some plush offices, taking a card from my pocket and handing it to reception as I named the person I was visiting. Of course it was a card I'd been given earlier in the day when I visited a nearby major rival firm!

John Evans said:
My favourite tip is simple: Keep business cards you receive in one pocket. Put your own in another pocket. Remember which is which! Doing this helps to avoid pulling out the card of a competitor instead of your own card.
I liked Ned's tip about a short reply to 'what do you do?'

I often reply - 'I'm a developer' followed by a silence waiting for the other person do ask me what I develop, to which I reply 'people'. More often than not a conversation follows.
David

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