HOW MANY PEOPLE SHOULD YOU MEET AT A ONE HOUR NETWORKING EVENT?
Recently, I have been doing a number of radio interviews. Some of the interviews were on Intergenerational Communication and others on Networking to Build Relationships.
When doing the networking presentations, twice the interviewer was “surprised” by one of my responses. They asked me, “How many people should one plan to meet at a networking event?” I replied “No more than three”. Their next response was, “Really, I thought you were suppose to meet as many people as possible.”
Let me explain:
With the goal of meeting three people, the task does not seem as large as having to start a number of new conversations.
When you begin by shaking hands, saying your name and asking the question “What great thing happened to you recently?” you will not have to worry about keeping the conversation going. This open-ended question has a positive slant. When they answer it, and you listen to the answer, I can assure you will have material to ask the next question.
Asking questions helps you learn about another person, and you begin the building of a relationship. You know all you know, your goal is learn more about the person standing before you.
When it is time for you to move on, ask the person for his contact card (formerly called business card). Shake hands again, and say something like “It would be good to continue this conversation sometime in the future.”; “May I give you a call so we can continue this conversation?”
Finally, be sure you send each of the three people you met a handwritten note with your contact card included.
BUSINESS COMMUNICATION TIP:
Enter the data from the contact card into your contact program as soon as possible after receiving it. It is much easier to write some notes regarding the conversation while it is fresh.