“Talking the talk: The secret to great networking,” by Linda O’Flanagan, offers practical advice on how to make networking events work for you. For one thing, say many experienced networkers, go to events thinking about not what you can get, but what you can give — your time as a volunteer, your business expertise. Can you help other people connect?
That participatory approach extends right down to the way you accept a business card. This tip on card etiquette is passed along from Deena Baikowitz of Fireball Network, a consultancy providing training in networking, presentation and business development:
“One of the worst mistakes you can make is to take someone’s card and immediately stick it in your pocket. How will you ever remember who you met if you don’t look at their card? A card is a valuable visual cue. Hold the card. Look at the card. Read the person’s name, title, company name and address. Then look directly at them. And ask about their title, company, job. ‘Your office is at 280 Park. What a coincidence. My office is at 250 Park. Let’s meet for coffee.’ ”