1. Determine Your Goals – are you there to find prospects (how many, be specific), partners, centers of influence, resources or suppliers, check out the organization, etc.
2. Network for Life – everyone you meet now has the potential to be a great contact in your next career and for others in your growing sphere of influence.
3. Quality not quantity – It’s better to spend time with one valuable contact than collect a dozen business cards of people who will never remember you.
4. Partner up with others to create networking events where you and your contacts can meet your partner and his/her contacts.
5. Be Strategic – Only go to events where your target market will likely show up. Find out who is attending and check them out before going. Then zero in on your targets at the event.
6. Create a brief one sentence framing statement that you can say when people ask what you do. Make it all about results they get from using your product or service. Phrase it so they need to ask, “How do you do that?”
7. Follow up, follow up, follow up.
8. Be unique! How can you be different from all the others they met or already know? Make your framing statement unique, the stories you tell, the things you send, what you wear, how you introduce yourself, your follow-up,.
9. Be a host, not a guest. Greet people, introduce them to others, You make two friends that way.
10. Connect new contacts to other people in your sphere of influence. Ask ‘Who is good referral for you?” Ask “Would you like to meet xx?” It’s all about giving. What goes around, comes around.