3 Networking Tips at Business After Hours

I recently attended a meeting at my local chamber and got some great advice from a volunteer who runs their after hours program.

He gave the following three suggestions to make your participation in the next after hours event worth its weight in gold.

And of course, bring your business cards (plenty).
  1. Set an initial appointment for 10 minutes with someone you want to meet;
  2. Arrive early; and
  3. Be a good listener.
Let's talk about each of the above three suggestions in detail.

Set an initial appointment for 10 minutes with someone you want to meet:

If you set an appointment with someone you want to meet, you know you've already made the evening worth your time.  Make it early in the process so you can work the rest of the crowd.  Remember, these after hours events typically are no more than two hours.

Arrive early:

If you don't arrive early, members have already self-selected in groups that might make it tough to insert yourself.  If you're there early, you can be part of the initial discussion and small group that has formed in that corner of the room.

Be a good listener:

It's always important to listen.  When we really listen, that's when we can make a difference.  That's when we can hear what a prospective member may want or need and we can deliver on that ask.  Always be ready to help!

Remember, it's more important to listen to what they want and deliver the goods based on their ask than telling them what they need based on your experience on what you're hearing.  It's all about them.  It's never about you.

Never forget that!