- When meeting someone offer a firm handshake.
- Never offer a bone-crushing grips or wimpy limp-wristed hand shakes.
- In business you always introduce less important people, such as your boss, to more important people, such as a business prospect.
- Pay attention to names when you meet people. If you concentrate and repeat the name as soon as you hear it you are more likely to remember.
- Use first names of people you have just met only after they give you permission. Not everyone wants to be addressed informally at first.
All business people are networkers whether they realize it or not. Some are more effective than others. Some work at it with purpose; others wander aimlessly through the process.
Every time you meet someone, greet someone, pick up the phone, send an e-mail message, engage someone in conversation, write a note (yes, some people still write notes), you are networking.
You don’t have to attend a community function, an after hours reception, a fundraising event or an educational conference to network. Anytime you interact with someone else you are engaged in networking. It can happen at the mall, the grocery store, the post office, walking the dog, riding in an elevator or waiting for your next flight to take off.
The purpose of business networking is to build relationships and grow your business, but you can’t be successful at networking if you don’t understand what it is. Some people think that it’s who you know and others believe that it’s who knows you. Networking is a
combination of those two, but it is more than that.
Business networking is also about what you know, and more importantly, it’s about who knows that you know what you know. (Try saying that fast three times in a row.)
It’s not enough to be famous if no one understands what makes you famous. As part of your networking strategy, be clear on who you are, what you do and what you have to offer. Your area of expertise and the unique skills you possess are what others need to know.
How can you be sure that people know that you know what you know? By being visible and by using, not abusing, every opportunity to showcase your expertise. Once people know that you know what you know, you become the expert and the “to-go-to” person. It’s a lot easier to have people come to you than having to chase them down.
Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.
Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions. Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.
Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.