Tuesday, December 7

Holiday networking tips 

This just arrived in my email box from marketing guru Robert Middleton (www.actionplan.com):

>>> Holiday networking tips <<<

1. Accept all invitations. Well, most invitations. Remember that
this opportunity to meet with so many people won't come around
again for another year. Also look around for holiday events at your
professional organization, chamber of commerce or other
business groups.

2. Go to the party prepared. Bring plenty of business cards and
a pen. Make it a goal to make substantial connections with at
least half a dozen people. What's a substantial connection? A
one-on-one talk that's ten minutes or more.

3. There are two types of people you'll connect with at a party
(no, not drunk or sober) - people you know and people you don't
know. For those you know, ask sincerely how they are and how
business has been this year. For those you don't know, be
prepared with your "Audio Logo," - "I help people in companies
who are stressed out because they have more to do with fewer
resources." Don't label yourself - "I'm a personal organizer."

4. Spend more time asking questions and listening than talking.
This is really THE KEY to effective networking at parties. "How
has business been going? How have the changes in the economy
affected your business? What are your plans for growth in
2005? What kinds of clients are you looking for these days?"

5. Have a strategy for staying in touch. What good does it do if
you connect with all these people and they never hear from you
again? Don't fall into the rut of suggesting you should get
together for lunch sometime and never following up. Instead say,
"You know, I have something I think you'd enjoy receiving. I've put
together a new article entitled 'Ten Ways to Improve Productivity
in Tight Times.' Let me send you a copy."

6. Follow-up with your new prospects after the party, if
appropriate. If some topics come up that indicated there was a
reason to talk further, give them a call in a few days with a very
specific purpose: "Alice, at the party you talked about some of the
challenges in getting projects completed within budget. I have
some ideas that you might find useful..."

7. Keep an open mind. If you're in the right place at the right
time, you could make some very profitable business connections.
If nothing happens right now, at least you've sowed some seeds
for the future.

8. Don't drink or eat too much. Well you knew that already, but
I couldn't resist. Happy Holidays!

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