Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Schmooze or Lose! The art of Networking

Morning, noon and night, conference rooms at hotels and other meeting places throughout the Greater Baltimore area buzz with business people. Some of them clench coffee mugs, others cling to business cards. They are networking!! Your business’s success could depend on your ability to work a crowd. There’s a lot more business people out there. And it’s harder to get business and people are looking for something new.

Business networking is a fairly new phenomenon. But it works!!! Schmoozing with strangers doesn’t come naturally. You feel uncomfortable, but that’s normal. Get out of your comfort zone …. Walk into a room where everyone is a stranger. The result – you force yourself to meet new people and work on building a relationship with a potential new client.

Below are some do’s and don’ts of networking:

Don’t be too long-winded when you meet a new contact.

Always have a preprinted name tag .

Get to the event early and read all the name tags of those attending. Make notes of who you want to talk to.

Eye contact is critically important. Don’t look past the person.

Have plenty of business cards.

Don’t be underdressed. Networking is theater and you need to look good!

Article contributed by Patty Desiderio, Patty’s Gifts and Baskets. Telephone 410-638-6918, E Mail Patty@pattysgiftsandbasketsrus.com