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Victoria Munro and Dave Block of Make-it-FlyFive Easy Steps to Make Networking Work for You
By Dave Block and Victoria Munro

Printable version

Step One: At the Event

If you’re going to spend time, energy and money to attend networking events, don’t stop there – capitalize on that investment. People do business with people they know, like and trust, and you can’t develop a relationship of trust in a brief two or three-minute encounter at a networking event. You can, however, make a plan to follow up with several individuals and get to know them better.

At the networking event, look for one to three people you would like to get to know better and set up second meetings with them.

Select Your New Friends Carefully!

Your time is valuable, so use it wisely. Be selective about who you choose to meet with a second time. You might consider:

1. Potential power partners – You both work with the same type of clients. This allows you to very naturally put each other in touch with qualified prospects. It’s vital that you first understand the benefits you each offer potential clients.

2. People with whom you have a natural affinity – Those with whom you sense a “connection.” You share something in common and there is a spontaneous chemistry that draws you to enjoy and respect them. You may only discover this if you focus on the other person, ask questions and listen.

3. Those whom you can help by providing services, products, information, connections, encouragement and support.

In addition, you may make some wonderful, life-long friends!

Step Two: Set Up a Second Meeting

When you identify someone you’d like to follow up with, email him or her within 48 hours of the event and request the opportunity to meet again. Email is better than a phone call because it doesn’t put them on the spot. It allows them to think about your request before responding.

In Your Email:

Remind them of who you are and where and when you met.
Let the person know that you enjoyed meeting them – perhaps mention what attracted you to them or impressed you about them.
State that you’d like to get to know them better and learn more about their business.
State that you’d like to get to know them better and learn more about their business.
- At their office
- At your office
- At a neutral site, perhaps a coffee shop half way between both of
your offices.
Mention a timeframe for the meeting, so that they can efficiently plan it into their schedule – say 45 minutes, (unless you both choose to extend it).

Always be honest and open about why you would like to meet again. Act in a courteous and professional manner at all times.

Never be presumptuous. Don’t assume, but ask if this might be of interest to them.

Step Three: At the Meeting:

Express your appreciation to him or her for taking the time to meet.
Reiterate what initially impressed you about them.
Focus your attention on the other person and make them feel important.
Be a learner -- ask questions and listen carefully with sincere interest, noting anything you may have in common.
Resist the temptation to talk about yourself and what you do unless you’re asked.
Discuss and understand how you could perhaps be helpful to each other.
Make notes of anything you promise to send them or do for them.
Be respectful of their time and don’t allow the meeting to continue longer than you agreed. Thank them for their time.

Step Four: After the Meeting:

Follow up immediately, thanking them for taking the time to get together. If you promised to send them information, or put them in touch with someone else, do so right away.
Make relevant notations in your contact management database software and, if appropriate, in your daily planner.

In light of what you have learned, decide if developing a friendship with this person will be mutually beneficial. Does this have the potential to truly be a win-win relationship? It’s okay if you don’t wish to pursue it any further; it simply may not be a fit right now.

When you would like to further develop a friendship, use their services yourself, if possible. Referring someone whose services you have personally experienced provides genuine credibility.

Step Five: Keep In Touch

Great friendships are typically built slowly and steadily. Use your contact management software to help you stay in touch, assist and support others as you grow your business through networking that works for you.

(756 wrds)
© 2005-2007 Victoria Munro.

Click here for printable version.

About the Authors: Dave Block and Victoria Munro are co-founders of Make-it-Fly® LLC, a company dedicated to creating success for small business owners through creatively-designed programs and tools. Dave is known as the “Master Networker” in the business community and loves sharing how to become a successful business owner by learning the art of networking. Victoria has started and run nine different businesses.. To receive FREE business success articles with tips to help you with your business, sign up for their award-winning ezine, “In-Flight Refueling,” at:, and receive a free copy of the eBook, Get More Done in Less Time: 101 Quick and Easy Time Tactics & Tips.

You’re welcome to “reprint” this article in your ezine, print publication or on your website, as long as it remains complete and unaltered (including the “about the author” info at the end). Please send a copy of your reprint to

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