networkingBuilding a priceless business relationship entails creating a series of progress-based impressions.  None is more important than the first.  We need to make sure our first connection with someone is progress-based and powerful.

Remember, people meet people all the time.  We need to stand out as someone they want future contact with.

Here are 10 quick business networking tips for delivering solid first impressions.

Tip 1.  Do not try to do major business deals (save that for later).
Do not rush new relationships; think LONG TERM.  Do not SELL!  It is a mind-set.  Be subtle.  The worst thing we can do is try to start selling someone something as soon as you meet them.

Tip 2.  Be an Early Bird and a Late Bloomer.
Never be late.  At a networking event the ten minutes before things get under way and the ten minutes after are the real golden moments.  So arrive 15 minutes early and stay 15 minutes late.

Tip 3.  Always stand when meeting someone new.
It shows respect.  What else can I say about it?

Tip 4.  Hand in hand.
In the business arena, handshakes are the accepted greeting.  As a rule, I would advise against initiating kisses or hugs in a business setting.  Take the handshake seriously; we will be judged by the quality (limp/firm, moist/dry, lengthy/brief) of our handshake.   Above all, a handshake should be firm, but not bone-crushing.

Note to men about shaking hands with women:
Don’t wimp out on the handshake.  I often hear from female professionals I am working with how some men will offer them a lame “I don’t want to hurt you  you delicate flower, you” handshake.  Be a man.  Shake the hand.

We can avoid delivering a cold, wet handshake by keeping your drink in the left hand.  If your hands tend to be clammy, try spraying them with antiperspirant at least once a day.  Also, try carrying Kleenex in your pocket and drying your hands discreetly from time to time.  To really put yourself over the top, shake hands good-bye as well as hello.

Tip 5.  Travel light.
In most cases, there is no need to take our briefcase or even a purse.  We do not want to have to put down all that stuff (brochures, briefcases, or handbags) and dig out a business card.  It’s also tougher to move around or look comfortable and easygoing with our arms filled with your company’s propaganda.  Remember, we are there to connect, not sell.

Tip 6.  Meet.  Talk.  Get card.  Go.
At a networking event, talk to one person for about four to five minutes – eight minutes maximum.  Get their card, take some notes, and work toward a comfortable conclusion to this initial conversation.  Hogging someone’s time is an inexcusable no-no.  If we cannot find a natural way to end the conversation, introduce the person to someone else.  It’s a win-win.  We help them connect with someone new and we get to move on without appearing rude.

Tip 7.  Do not act desperate for business.
People want to talk to upbeat, confident people. We will not create any priceless business relationships if we act like we don’t have lunch money.  Treat people as worthy of our respect and courtesy, not as targets.

Tip 8.  Carry /use breath mints or those dissolving strip things (not gum).
Halitosis is bad for business.  Good breath is a must.  And as for gum, smacking anything at a networking function is discouraged.

Tip 9.  Communicate that your network rocks.
Talk enthusiastically about the cool, neat, highly productive and witty people who are already in your network.  This will encourage others to want to be in our network too, because we will speak of them in the same positive way.

Tip 10.  Who wants a drink –e-poo?
At conferences, conventions, trade shows, and business-after-hours functions (often organized by the local Chamber of Commerce and held at a local business establishment), it is common for there to be alcohol.  I encourage you to consider not drinking at these events, or at least know your alcohol limit and not get anywhere close to it.  Sure we want to be remembered, but not as the loud jerk who couldn’t hold his spirits and spilled red wine on Judge Jacob’s new power suit.

Dean Lindsay newby Dean Lindsay – International Business Speaker and Author of Cracking the Networking CODE – 4 Steps to Priceless Business Relationships

To learn more about Dean or book him for your next event contact 


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