Networking Do’s – What To Do While Networking

By Sabrina Risley

Much of what is on my What To Do list below comes from the countless books I have read, research I have done, trial and error in my own business, and observing hundreds of professionals at my networking events since 2004. In fact, I believe so strongly in these principles, I have incorporated sharing this information with the professionals who attend my CERTUS networking events.

In my post earlier this month, I shared a list of what NOT to do at networking events.  Understanding what to avoid is just as important as understanding what to focus upon.  I encourage you to check out that list if you happened to miss it. As for what to do to be most effective and strategic while networking, check this out…

What Networking Is All About – Following is a list of What To Do and what I’ve discovered will completely transform the results you receive from your networking efforts:

  • Being intentional and strategic about your purpose for networking
  • Focusing on others and how you can help and serve them
  • Realizing it’s an opportunity to meet new people, ask questions and learn about their business
  • Taking a genuine interest in forming deep and meaningful relationships
  • Respectfully listening and focusing on each person with whom you speak
  • Scheduling follow up appointments when you detect a connection with someone
  • Being generous with your rolodex and making introductions to new customers, referral partners or resources when you identify a good match
  • Asking for referrals and introductions once you’ve established a trusted relationship
  • Knowing who is a strategic referral partner for you and intentionally seeking them out
  • Refraining from engaging in self-serving activities and me-centered conversations
  • Understanding networking is a long-term, viable marketing strategy that fills your pipeline
  • Expressing gratitude when others provide you with assistance of any form

The reality is that anyone can go out and “network,” but it takes a solid strategy, intention, focus and mindset to network effectively and reap the rewards that will catapult your business. But most networkers get off course when they become self-serving and short-sighted, believing the purpose of networking is to get that quick-fix sale. Networking is not about you.

Is there anything you would add to this list?  Or maybe you or someone you know has incorporated some of these strategies with great results. I love success stories so please share them with me in a comment below.

© 2013 CERTUS Professional Network / Behind The Moon, Inc.  All rights reserved.


Feel free to share this article in its entirety and include Sabrina Risley’s Bio information below along with live link back to this blog post.  Thank you.

Sabrina Risley

Sabrina Risley is a master connector. She’s been hosting live networking events since 2004 and has welcomed 20,000+ professionals to those events. She shares her observations, insights and tips of how the top 2% of effective and magnetic networkers build their businesses. She also shares what NOT to do when networking. Get her complimentary e-book: Strategic Networking for Success.
Sabrina Risley

12 thoughts on “Networking Do’s – What To Do While Networking”

  1. I love the suggestion about being generous with your rolodex. I feel that if I can’t connect the people that resonate with me with at least one valuable connection after an event, I’m not doing well…

  2. Love this article!
    Just a couple of things:
    1. Go with the intention of giving – make it all about learning about other people.
    2. Show up early and ask to help (part of being a giver). You will be surprised how many more people you are able to meet.
    3. Don’t worry about what they are serving for food. You are there to network not eat a meal. The food is a bonus.
    4. Follow up INSTANTLY with 2-3 people by booking an appointment to learn about them. Make the meeting all about asking them questions with the intention of learning how to refer business to them. Carry thank you cards in your bad and write out a thank you card and mail it BEFORE you get back to the office. Make the thank you card really about what you admire about the person.
    5. Make it a game to see if you can connect one person you meet to another person. Make an AWESOME introduction for each of them. Then walk away to meet someone new…this is a great and elegant way to be able to politely end the conversation. Sometimes we get so excited about talking with someone it can be hard to break away….this makes it easy.

  3. You have a great article here. So often people expect to close on a deal at a networking function, which is sad because it is a place to go start developing relationships. It is key to not just meet someone and forget about them. Thank you Sabrina. You have amazing information.

  4. I do love how you broke down what to do and what not to do (in the previous post). I think this is a great list and if we all lived and operated by it when networking we would be much more successful at leveraging relationships to grow our business.

    The only thing I would add is possibly really look to connect with people on a deeper level. People do business with people they know, like and trust – the faster you actually befriend someone, the faster you’ll have a referral partnership that is profitable for both parties.

  5. Thank you Andrea… you add a very good point. People wan to know the person behind the business. You taught me that years ago and I appreciate the reminder.

  6. Wow you are a ROCK STAR! Thank you for all these great tips. I actually have future articles that incorporate many of these as well and would love your input on them when they are published. Thank you for your very thorough points here, Sabrina G.!

  7. Jessica… we never want to neglect a great connection which is why I LOVE your Customer Wow Project so much. It allows very busy professionals to remain in contact and nurture relationships. Awesome! Thank you for your feedback.

  8. A great list! You could also write another blog expanding the last item: “Expressing gratitude when others provide you with assistance of any form”.
    Cheers to your success, Lisa

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