1. Schedule meetings and attend events that best suit your body clock. In order to be your best at every networking opportunity, you need energy. All of us have energy highs and lows throughout the day—network at the height of yours. (Even though there may still be occasions when you’ll need to attend some event that’s not in your optimal time frame...)
2. Get specific about the kind of people who are your potential “raving fans” (often referred to as your “target market“) and attend only those events at which you’ll find them. This will not only save you an enormous amount of time, it will help you connect with those people who are most likely to do business with you.
3. Although people rarely remember strangers names or what they said, they always remember how they feel in another’s presence. Make sure they feel a positive emotion in yours—focus your Attention on them, ask open-ended questions about them and then listen to them. This is such a rare occurrence in networking that it’s always memorable. Give people a compelling reason to spend more time in your presence: as your customer, your referral source or your joint venture partner.
4. When meeting someone new, pay attention to the speed with which they communicate. Are they the same speed as you—or are they more quick? More careful? Respectfully match their speed, especially if it’s different from yours, and you’ll notice a profoundly positive shift in your conversation.
5. Once you start attending events that align with your body clock and are full of your potential raving fans, shift your focus from what you want to achieve to discovering what the people you meet might want. Decide to make a difference for 3-5 people at every event you attend. Just how you do this is up to you and depends on the circumstances, yet this one shift allows others to get a “picture” of what being around you is like. It makes it easier to know you, like you and ultimately, trust you. When others “get the picture” about you, it’s worth more than the thousand words it would take you to tell them.
Any one of these decisions will make a difference in your networking; take them one at a time and see what happens. When you’re ready, try all five of them at once. Be prepared for transformation!