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Top 10 Essential Networking Tips

Networking is essential in order to be a part of both global and local conversations.

Top 10 Essential Networking Tips

Posted Friday September 02nd, 2016 by in Analysis + Strategy.

With summer drawing to a close, your local chamber, or networking groups, will be getting ready for an exciting new business cycle. It is a time when they will be offering many opportunities to make valuable connections to new clients and contacts who can help your business succeed. Making the most of these opportunities takes perseverance, perception and practice. It also takes courage to put yourself into a room of strangers.

At GEM, we love to network and we know the reward is worth the risk and the effort. It’s one of the many reasons we volunteer our time sitting and chairing committees. Networking is essential in order to be a part of both global and local conversations.

Below you will find our top 10 networking tips to help you at your next event:


  1. Get out regularly and follow up with people you want to have a deeper conversation with via a call, personal email, or direct message over LinkedIn. Make the message personal and explain why you want to talk further.
  2. Guage the room and dress appropriately so that the first impression you make says, “I’m professional and someone you want to do business with.” Remember “appropriate” will vary from event to event. For example, a summer patio mixer, or tech forum, will be much more casual than a keynote speaker lunch.
  3. Prepare for the event by thinking about how you can describe what you do in one sentence — without your sentence being filled with industry jargon. Secondly think about what is exciting, unique or interesting about you and your company that will be of interest and make people want to find out more. After all, we all want to do business with people who are passionate about what they do, and relating your latest big success is a great way to share your passion and explain your value proposition.
  4. When you meet people, ask questions to get to know them as well as their business. Get them to tell you something interesting about themselves. It will help you remember them, and it makes a person feel good when someone takes an interest in them, so they will be more likely to have a good impression of you.
  5. Share something personal and relatable about yourself. It will make you more likable and help people remember you so when you call them to ask for a pitch meeting, they will be more likely to accept.
  6. Be clear on why you are networking. Telling people who you want to meet, who your ideal client is, or ideal business to connect with will help those you network with help you. You will invariably meet many people who are not your ideal client, but they may very well know someone who is and can connect you.
  7. Ask those you meet why they are at the event and who they are seeking to meet. If you know someone who fits that description and are comfortable making the introduction, go for it, keeping in mind good introduction etiquette.
  8. Ask to follow up with those you meet who are good leads or connections, including why you want to follow up. Also be honest with those you meet who you don’t see a future working with. They will respect that you are saving both of your time by simply saying you are not interested in their product/service at this time.


  1. Don’t make a sales pitch when you first meet someone. It’s the fasted way of sabotaging yourself. Networking is about getting to know people well enough to evaluate whether you want to do business with them.
  2. Don’t send a mass email to everyone you meet, instead recap the event and what you spoke about and invite them to connect again at upcoming events, over coffee, or even lunch, depending on how engaged your conversation was.

Bonus Tip

Don’t be shy - okay, rooms full of strangers are scary, but when you’re feeling nervous before the next event tell yourself this: All these strangers are here to meet people just like you!


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