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Networking the Right Way: Personality is Paramount

We have all been to countless networking events and have stacks of business cards from hundreds of people.  But which are the ones you remember?  The cards you remember and the people you remember undoubtedly have one thing in common.  They all had personality coupled with offering you a service or a product that you needed.  Let’s face it, there are thousands of people out there that do exactly what it is that you do.  So the key in creating new business and a continual pipeline of work is to differentiate yourself in the market.  Easier said than done.

The top 5 ways to make a lasting first impression:

1. A clean and unique business card, and a story:

This may be as simple as explaining to them the story behind how you came up with your logo, or the person liking the color or style of the card.  Make sure the person doesn’t just take the card, but takes a good look at what your card says and who you are on it.  Ask a question about the card, people always want to give you their opinion and will remember how helpful they were to you.

2. Wear Color:

I know this sounds so simple but it is incredibly effective.  How many times have you walked into a room with a sea of black, grey and navy suits….boring!  Then think about who caught your eye at that event.  Was it one of those people?  Chances are the answer to that question is no, the person who caught your attention was the man in the pink shirt, or the woman in the red dress.  Take advantage of these ocular stimuli, you will leave a lasting impression every time.

3. Step up to a group:

Know what being a wall flower will get you at a networking event?  Absolutely nothing!  Have the confidence to step up to a group of people already entrenched in conversation and introduce yourself.  You are essentially killing multiple birds with one stone by speaking to many people about who you are and what you do at one time.

4. Make other introductions:

If you are at an event where you know a lot of people, be the connector.  Not only will this generate goodwill for you on behalf of the host and the parties you are introducing, but it will put you in good graces with them so that if someone comes across their path who needs your services, they will likely reciprocate.

5. Offer something of value and follow through:

You will never be able to offer your product or service to ever person you come across.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t add value to them.  Whether it is a connection with someone they can do business with, or an article you think they would enjoy, you are adding value to them which is the single most effective way to be remembered.  But adding value means nothing without the follow through to back it up.  As simple as this sounds, this is the number one place where people fail in cultivating new and lasting relationships and impressions.

But please, always remember to do all of these things tactfully.  This means no bright yellow zoot suits or feather boas (you know who you are).  The takeaway from this really is just that that you are your biggest tool in building your brand and your business, don’t sell yourself short.

Brought to you by LaurelK.com

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