Most people, if they had a choice, would never go to a networking meeting.

They’d just as soon stay home and watch reruns of Tom and Jerry than get dressed, drive to a restraurant, order a drink and walk up to complete strangers for a couple of hours, introducing themselves, asking what they do and trading business cards, knowing more than likely they will never do business with that person or even see that person again.

But what if you could be sure that at least one person you met at any networking meeting you went to would end up being a friend, and possibly a great new business associate? Wouldn’t you want to know how to do that?

Great…pay attention.

Number One Mistake People Make At Networking Meetings

Are you ready? We’ve all done it…

Mistake #1: Talk about yourself!

Wait, you’re saying. Isn’t that why I’m there? No, you’re there to make connections, to get to know people, to see who’s in the room.

You are NOT there to talk about yourself because here’s the number one rule of all communication:

You Can’t Learn Anything If Your Mouth Is Moving

So, instead…let me paint you a picture of how to do this often dreaded activity in a way that might actually be 1) enjoyable and 2) profitable in more ways than one.

Meeting and Greeting

Networking Success 101

You’re standing in a networking meeting with people you don’t know and you spy a brave soul who’s walking over  to meet you. What you do and say in the next few minutes will make all the difference in terms of whether or not this person remembers you, let alone wants to do business with you in the future.

First…SMILE! Look happy that you’re about to meet them.

Next…look them in the eyes and shake their hand firmly (unless you’re in a different culture that shakes hands differently.)

Say, “Hi…my name is…” Hopefully, they will tell you their name in return.

This next part may surprise you.

Ask them what they do for a living and then shut up and listen.

When they’re finished, ask lots of questions about what they do; don’t tell them what YOU do.

You see, it’s so much easier to be interestED in someone else than be interestING to someone else when you don’t know what that person is interestED in yet.

When you ask people questions about themselves (and not just business either), you will, more than likely, watch them quickly begin to like you and trust you.

When you’re finished with conversation, move on. If, and only if, they want to know what you do, do you tell them but make it brief and don’t throw up on them.

There’s a saying that goes like this:

“It is far more impressive when others discover your
good qualities without your help.”

Bragging and going on and on about something the other person doesn’t find interesting or, more frequently, can’t figure out what you’re talking about, does you, or them, no good.

So, stick to asking questions about them and you’ll find that networking meetings are far more interesting, and productive, than ever before.


When you get their business card, send them a quick email saying how nice it was to meet them. Mention a little tidbit they told you at the meeting and again, don’t go on and on about you. This way they will get a sense that you were genuinely interested in them and I promise, this type of interest is always worth getting.