networking-cornonthejobEvery Monday morning I get up early and head to my 1st networking group of the week.  It gets me motivated and on a roll for the week of many things happening!

This Monday group is awesome, S.T.E.P. RVA!  I not only have the chance of meeting new people, but it keeps me accountable.  Each Monday as we go thru the meeting we come to a point where Todd, who is the founder, asks if we completed the tasks that were mentioned last week and what do we need to be accountable for this week.  Of course we do our pitch about our business, pass around business cards and more.

As you go about your networking are you unsure what to do or say?  Don’t recognize anyone in the room.  Apprehension or wariness? Consider  these 3 simple tips to get you less wary, more confidence and what to say that is right:

1)  Ask Questions – don’t wait around the outer circle waiting for people to approach you – get in and start being a part of the conversation or see another person alone, go talk to them.  As if you can join in the conversation or ‘what brought you here?’.  Once you get over that initial hurdle you are perfectly in place.

2) Don’t SELL! – You aren’t there to sell, but to build relationships!  Be fun, light and informal.  You don’t need to hard sell in minutes of meeting another.  If you are asked about your products or service, be ready for a brief description of your business.  Remember this most people are willing to do business with people whose company they enjoy.

3) SMILE! – It not only puts you more at ease, you’ll come across as warm and inviting to others.  Remember to smile as you are entering the room and leave the dread and negative feelings out the door.

Want more networking tips – check out this post I came across at Huffington Post:  ‘6 Tips for Networking Success’ by Paul Bernard.  I really like #5 – to bring it down “having lots of people as your ‘friend’ on FB and LinkedIn ‘Connections’ isn’t networking’!

If you aren’t networking then maybe it is time to start!

What networking groups do you attend regularly or are a member of?  Comment below – I love seeing new networking groups!