10 Easy Ways to Become a Better Networker

The key to becoming and being great at networking is not how many business cards you can hand out, but how memorable you can make yourself to others. Networking is the most effective way to get on the inside track of your chosen industry. However, making a connection that will last beyond an initial meeting requires a special game plan. Check out these 10 things that will help people remember you.

Research ahead of time: Know who you’re going to be meeting so you have more to talk about.

Focus on quality, not quantity: It’s better to make one real connection than meet 20 people who won’t remember you after an introduction.

Project confidence: Eye contact and a smile are great visual cues to show others that you’re a person they need to meet.

Brand yourself: Tell people something specific about yourself that they will remember, such as a unique specialization or passion.

Find common ground: Whether it’s industry-related, or a shared interest in football or James Bond movies, it helps to make a connection.

Pay attention: Ask insightful questions instead of just waiting for your turn to talk.

Leave gracefully: If you’re not getting the response you want, it’s okay to move on. Make a polite exit and express your appreciation for their time.

Be distinctive: You want to stand out from the crowd. Be the best-dressed person there, or at least look clean and well-groomed.

Be polite and respectful: Manners and professionalism count for a lot.

Follow up: Don’t let an important connection fall away just because you didn’t take the time to call or email. The sooner, the better.

There are probably dozens of ways you network every day without even thinking about it. Small talk while you’re waiting in line for coffee could turn into your next job interview.

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