Wednesday, November 19, 2008

HOLIDAY NETWORKING TIPS

Tips to Help You Make the Most of Holiday Events
By Victoria Munro and Dave Block of
Make It Fly

Take advantage of holiday parties to make new friends and grow your network, which in turn can lead to growing your business. The tips below make this easy.

View each holiday gathering as a networking opportunity. Go prepared with business cards, an attitude of giving and a commitment to help others.

Don’t try to sell your products or services. Rather, ask questions to gain information about the person you are talking to, and learn about their interests and passions. Find out what’s special about them and how your can serve and encourage them.

Wear something unique that stands out and makes it easy for others to ask questions and start a conversation. Pins, custom nametags and embroidered logos can pique someone’s curiosity and beg a question.

Be a giver! Plan to leave each person you talk to with something of value. This could be as small as a smile or as significant as a referral. Other ‘gifts’ might include: information to help them deal with an issue or situation they’re facing, a relevant, helpful article or book, or someone they should meet and get to know.

Avoid the challenge of trying to balance a plate and glass while you shake hands and talk with others. When you’re eating, focus on that, but when networking, give your full attention to the person you’re talking to.

Have a positive attitude about the event you’re attending. Let the host or organizer know how much you appreciate the hard work she or he put into making the event a success.

Prepare to offer ideas for unique, affordable, fun holiday gifts that people you meet might give to their clients, friends and family members.

Do your best to let everyone you talk with feel important, special and valued. Offer sincere compliments and pay attention to what they have to say.

Ask people what they enjoy about the holiday season and what they find challenging. Listen, and, if it’s appropriate, offer helpful suggestions.

Avoid any negative comments or conversation and maintain an attitude of gratitude and joy. It will prove contagious!
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