1. Don’t Wait for a Reunion to Network With Former Classmates
Author: Ivan Misner
entreprenuer.com. September 8, 2011
During secondary education and college many people don’t think to use their peers and professors as a resource. Today, there are multiple approaches available to help maintain and keep relationships made over the years.
Three steps to help reconnect and convert relationships:
- Contact your school’s alumni services department
Be active with the networking affinity groups and other opportunities offered.
- Use online networks
Linkedin and Facebook are major sources. Remember to create a database to track valuable contacts.
- Seek referrals
Ask contacts if they know of potential customers. Occasionally mention special “deals” or announce special events. A successful attempt could lead to those in your networks to buy or “share” with their networks.
It is important to refrain from a hard sales effort, people might delete or “un-friend” you/ your business.
2. Networking Strategies for the Holidays
Author: Ivan Misner
entrepreneur.com . November 28, 2011
Attending industry social events, and holiday parties is an excellent way to introduce yourself to a new contact or share friendly conversation with somebody you already know.
To make the most out of holiday party networking:
- Honor the event
Be sure not to treat the event like a business mixer. While holiday events are an opportunity to network, if you over-sell yourself those who came to enjoy the event might be put off.
- Be prepared
Do basic research on the people you intend to speak with. Use Google, Facebook, Linkedin etc.
- Ask direct questions
People love to talk about themselves, so ask questions such as “How did you get started? What were some of the challenges with. . . ? Have you read any good books lately?”
- Have a solution proposal ready
All business executives are thinking of ways to increase profits and performance; have a idea that you have researched and prepared as a solution for them- but save the fine details for another time.
- Don’t have more than a few drinks
Celebrate the event, but remember that first impressions count. Avoid smelling of liquor and being overly relaxed.
- Be confident
Introducing yourself can be intimidating when approaching executives. Give yourself a pep talk and list all your accomplishments, of which you can weave into conversations.
- Use the introduction to establish a future meeting
The goal is to establish a follow up meeting, and remember that it is a social gathering not a business meeting. So, keep it light and leave them interested.