Networking Etiquette – Manners Matter

EtiquetteThe way that you conduct yourself at networking events can be the difference between being seen as a professional or not.  Manners matter when networking.  Some of my pointers look like “no-brainers.” However over the many years as leader of a business-to-business networking group, I can say that I’ve seen lots of folks walk through our doors that seemingly had no clue as to how they come across to others.

  • Dress for success. Simple enough however remember that others are making decisions about you within the first few minutes after they meet you.
  • Come prepared to network. Always carry plenty of business cards, a pen and pad.
  • Electronic devices. Turn off your cell phone and by all means do not text during meetings.  After all, you would never think about texting in front of your best client.  Why is your networking event any different?  It’s not.
  • Always, always, always be on time.  Would you be late to an appointment with your best client?  I don’t think so.
  • Engage and listen.  When you pay attention to what others are saying, you just might make a connection or can be put into a situation to seize an unforeseen opportunity. Like your teacher reminded you in grade school, “Johnny, stop talking and please pay attention.”
  • Create a follow-up plan.  Make sure to respond to any connections that you make within 24-48 hours.
  • Mind your manners.  Yes, remember what your Momma taught you about chewing your food with your mouth closed, no elbows on the table, don’t pick your teeth at the table and excuse yourself if you have to blow your nose!

Next time you attend a networking event, not only polish your shoes but also be cognisant of your networking etiquette because manners matter.  Basically, you want to show up and act in the way you want to be remembered–referable and professional.

Peggy Parker Edge © 2015.