Phyllis Davis (Business Etiquette Consultant) gives expert video advice on: When are the best times to talk to people at networking events?; What is a good way to meet people in networking situations?; What is the best way to be introduced to people I want to meet at a networking event? and more...
Is 'networking' appropriate business etiquette?
Networking is a contact sport today. This is what really separates people from mildly successful to massively successful. Thus professional networking is really appropriate business etiquette , because you've got to target your ideal client.
When are the best times to talk to people at networking events?
At networking events, the best times to talk to people is in a buffet line at a bar, but if you're waiting in line at a bar, don't talk to anyone. People don't like to talk in the line when they're waiting to get a drink. But where they do like to talk if you're networking, is at the dessert buffet line. They're more amenable to talk there, so don't talk in the drink line, talk a little in the buffet line, and go ahead and feel free to talk in the dessert line. Its all about chemicals as because people are full now, and they're more congenial, they're in a better frame of mind, and more relaxed now that they're eating.
What is the best way to be introduced to people I want to meet at a networking event?
When you go to a networking event, ask the people at the front desk where the nametags are. Who's here? Who should you know? Who should you know in this room? And, when they get here, ask if they will you introduce you. It's not a bad idea to just be forceful like that, as it can be the best way to be introduced people you want to meet at a networking event.
Are there different rules of etiquette for a networking event?
I think there are different rules of etiquette for a networking event. I think, for example, that you should stick to holding a drink in your left hand, so when you shake hands, your hands are not wet and sweaty from holding your drink; I think that's important. Professional networkers don't eat or drink at an event. If the networking event starts at 7, they'll get there at 7, they'll have something to eat, they'll have something to drink, and the rest of their time, they're there to work that room, not play. They don't stand with their friends, they look and speak to other people. They show interest in other people. Another etiquette rule to stick to at a networking event is to always wear your name tag on your right shoulder at networking events, because people reach across your torso and look directly into the name tag so they know who you are. I think that's important. Be curious about other people and don't try and sell yourself. On the other hand, its good to have a five second elevator pitch, and a ten second elevator pitch to use at networking events. The old adage of a 30 day elevator speech is far too long, as no-one wants to listen to anybody for 30 seconds. But a 5 second elevator pitch is enough. I'll say I'm an etiquette expert in American business, then I'll turn to them and ask what they do. Always turn the spotlight on other people, and self forget. If you can engage people, and create rapport, and still let them know what you do and who you are, you've had a good networking event. If you go home to a networking event, and all you've been doing is talking about yourself all night, no-one trusts you. No-one likes you, and no-one trusts you. Just remember that people want to talk about themselves, they don't want to hear talking about yourself.
Is it appropriate to spend time with friends at a networking event?
It is all right to talk to and spend time with your friends at banquets and networking events, but you're just not going to learn anything or meet anyone new. You've sort of wasted your time at that networking event, unless you just want to have a good time and you're not there to create business. Indeed there are a lot of networking events that are strictly enjoyable, but even if I go to a networking event with my husband, who I adore being with, we split up, and I'll see him in an hour. This is because we want to meet new people at this networking event. We got dressed up, we drove all that way, we're going to be there for an hour, let's make the best use of our time at this networking event.