One innocent faux pas when you are networking can leave a memorable impression that loses you potential contacts. Consider these tips, networking etiquette, to ensure that you get the best results from your networking;
1. Respect Your Contacts
Avoid giving someone the name of one of your contacts without asking permission of that person first. Instead, you can say something like, “I know someone who might be able to help you. Let me ask her if it’s ok to give you her name and get back to you.”
2. Dress For Success
Within the first seven seconds of meeting, people will have a solid impression of who you are — and some research suggests a tenth of a second is all it takes to start determining traits like trustworthiness. How you look when you attend a networking event (or business meeting) will impact of the impression people have of you.
Represent your brand by the way that you dress. It is perfectly acceptable to attend a networking event in overalls if you wear them for work. If you are not sure of the appropriate attire for the event you attending then ask and my recommendation is to dress “up” rather than casually.
3. Do What You Say You Will Do
If you said you’ll introduce someone to one of your contacts, make sure you follow-up with the name and number after checking with that person. If you promised to send someone information about another event, make a note to send it.
I have a template email setup in G-Suite so that I can respond quickly and it has the bullet points as an aide-memoire so that I remember to email all the information I promised.
4. Schedule A Telephone Appointment
Speaking to someone on the phone is less time-consuming than an email, but it still requires an appointment. Send an email or message via social media first to request a call, and be open to them saying no. If you do get to talk, call at the agreed time and, if it is relative, double check the time zones.
My personal preference is to have an agenda/objectives for the call.
5. Remember Them
Even if you haven’t made specific commitments to your new contacts, you do need to make an effort to stay visible and develop those relationships. Connect on social media, comment on their blogs, send holiday cards (virtual or physical).
6. Thank Everyone
As part of your follow-up, make sure you thank everyone who provided the slightest tip, name, advice, or other helpful piece of information. Tailor your thank-you based on the person and the help offered. You can send a private message on LinkedIn, a formal thank-you card, on Facebook or even a Tweet.
Use your common sense in all your networking. Relationships time and work to nurture, whether they’re personal or business. Make the time to take care of the little things and you’ll earn a reputation for professionalism and courtesy that people respect.