Golden Rules and Advice for Effective Networking

Some people think that Networking is a Dirty word because it seems like forced relationship, but networking is just a means of getting people to talk to others.

Below are some rules and advice to consider and follow, based on your personality:

  1. Create a Strategy of what you want to achieve.

  2. Prepare an “elevator pitch”.

  3. Get out of your comfort zone.

  4. Keep attending as many events as possible.

  5. Listen and respect other people’s space and not get too close.

  6. Follow up after events with some people of interest.

  7. Stick to good networking etiquette and not be too pushy.

  8. Dress to impress.

  9. Make eye contact when you shake hands (make it a firm handshake).

  10. Do not be selfish and only focus on what you want.

Several colleagues communicating in office against window

Finally, invent your own networking rules that you feel comfortable with, based on your own personality. 
A short checklist for Virtual Networking events:

•  Check your webcam and microphone before the event.

•  Make sure you have good quality and high-speed internet.

•  Same Business Casual Attire rules apply, as described in above sections.

•  Have your Digital Business Card ready.

Body Language and Gestures

Body language plays an important role in networking when you are meeting new people. As we know that the first impression is based on appearance and how you behave is something very important to project a positive personality.  If you have planned to attend a business event, then you need to make sure that you are not repelling them with poor approach from your body language. 

Karen Donaldson, a body language, and celebrity communication expert stated that “The relationship between body language and networking is symbiotic. Your body language can help you be perceived as confident, friendly, knowledgeable, and more. It can also send the wrong message when aiming to build relationships with others, ”You should know that body language is sufficient either to build or create a relationship with strangers. The most amazing thing is that it is truly under your control to enhance your body language with some basic skills that can be acquired easily. Here are some of the factors that you need to keep in your mind for optimum results.

Make Proper Eye Contact

Having good eye contact is also essential, which shows that you are showing interest in the other person. Looking here and there will show your lack of confidence and it should be avoided at all costs.  All the focus should be on the other person whom you’re talking with, and your eyes shouldn’t get distracted by different things in the room. You need to make yourself comfortable while making the eye-contact with them because it is your time to provide your credibility at a business meeting and your eye gestures plays a big role.

Give a proper firm Handshake

Handshake is another popular type of body language that shows how interested you are in that person. It is not just a formality, but it shows the level of confidence you have.   There are different types of handshakes out there, the worst being the “limp” handshake. To master it, just use your right hand to shake and just touch their forearm from the left hand for just 2-3 seconds. It will show how attentive you are and how interested you are feeling after meeting that person.

Don’t hide your hands

This is the key part of your body language for professional business networking. When you are talking with someone, make sure that your hands are visible. The hand expressions while talking with them will show that you are an open and honest person with integrity.  However, if you are hiding your hands then the other person will think either you are not interested in talking with them or agreeing with them about what they are saying. Furthermore, hands visibility shows transparency which is essential to build a relationship with a new person.

Keep Appropriate Physical Distance

It is quite necessary to maintain some physical distance between you and the person whom you are interacting with. It is believed that there should be a distance of at least 1 to 2 meters. It will show your respect for their “physical space” and the correct etiquette to present yourself at a business event.  Anything less than 1 meter will give a wrong message to the other person and that should be avoided completely. They will feel uncomfortable and intimidated. So, make sure that you have maintained the appropriate physical distance with the other person.
In today’s global business environment, it is all about Innovations in Digitisation, Sustainability and Standing Out.   Do your business cards meet this criterion, and do they connect and inspire action in a meaningful way in the Digital world? In the paperless digital age and is the paper printed business card an effective networking tool? Do you want to leave a “Digital Footprint” or a “Carbon Footprint”?

Build strong and long-lasting bonds for a master network.  Happy and profitable Networking!!

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