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SEARCH /:NETWORKING TIPS 4:
Networking gets easier if you work on it, so try role-playing. If you tend to talk more than listen, practice staying silent. If you have trouble breaking the ice with people, practice breaking the ice before any actual networking event. Don’t lead off with a talk about your business. Let the person you’re talking to get to know you as a person before you start telling them about your business.
Make a goal.
Have a target in mind before attending an event of how many contacts you want to make. Keep pushing yourself to meet new people until you have reached that goal.
Jot down reminders on business cards.
You don’t want to forget your conversation with the other person, which can be easy to do if you talk to 10 different people. After you receive a person’s business card, take some time after the conversation ends to write a few reminders about what you discussed. The notes will help trigger your memory after the event and will help you make more personal and meaningful follow-ups.
Follow up. Don’t make the mistake of appearing to be overly aggressive by adding the person as a social media contact seconds after meeting her. But don’t wait a week either. Wait until the day after you meet someone to send a connection request or follow up.