Spring Cleaning: 6 Ways to Network Better
Since I've started my own business, I've been hitting up the Chicago networking scene more frequently. If you're looking to do some more networking this spring, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
1. Don't spill food or wine all over yourself. If you're a sloppy eater, just stick to drinking water —and maybe, if you're feeling ambitious, a handful of crackers. One at a time, please.
2. Wear your nametag on the right-hand side.
3. Practice your handshake. Shake hands straight on — "thumb to thumb." Don't creep people out with a "dead fish."
4. Start a conversation. Avoid this opening line: “Hi, my name is so-and-so and I work for ABC company and do XYZ.” That’s a rookie move. Allow the conversation to develop naturally. For starters, why not ask, “How did you hear about tonight’s event?”
5. Know what you do. When someone asks you what you do, be prepared. Say at least two to three sentences about your job responsibilities. Give the listener the highlights — nobody really likes talking about work, anyway.
6. Follow up. Assuming you didn't drink too much Merlot at the event, you should be sober enough to compose a quick email or a DM to the people you met. Everybody likes to be remembered.