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1.   Don’t Wait for a Reunion to Network With Former Classmates
Author: Ivan Misner 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:

  1. Contact your school’s alumni services department
    Be active with the networking affinity groups and other opportunities offered.
  2. Use online networks
    Linkedin and Facebook are major sources. Remember to create a database to track valuable contacts.
  3. 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 . 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Be prepared
    Do basic research on the people you intend to speak with. Use Google, Facebook, Linkedin etc.
  3. 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?”
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.