Holiday Networking Tips

by Dean Lindsay, author of Cracking the Networking CODE
Tis the season for CONNECTING.  The holiday season can be a slow time for “business” but it can also be a busy time for “business relationship building.”  The holidays offer a great, easy and natural reason to re-connect with people we don’t regularly see or communicate with. So besides attending holiday gatherings, it is a wise investment of time to start phoning, mailing and emailing our Season’s Greetings and our Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukah Wishes.
Now, as we know, every event offers networking opportunities and that includes holiday gatherings. In fact, holiday gatherings offer ideal opportunities to network because of their relaxed settings and built in conversations starters – holiday shopping, food, family holiday travel, etc.  Holiday gatherings are all around, we can’t make them all. We must be selective and careful not to overextend ourselves. However we can’t connect if we don’t go.  Here are the first 7 of 14 Holiday Networking Tips.
Holiday Networking Tip #1:  Arrive on Time and Ready to Help.  Be sure to offer the host/hostess your assistance. Volunteering at any event heightens the opportunities of connecting.
Holiday Networking Tip #2:  When Talking with Friends, Open Up.  Stand (somewhat) side-by-side and converse rather than standing face-to-face. This make us still approachable to others and does not close us off to others desiring to connect.
Holiday Networking Tip #3:  Carry Pen and Paper as well as Business Cards.  We need to be able to reconnect with folks and they might not to have thought about bringing cards.
Holiday Networking Tip #4:  Focus on Quality of the Conversation Not Quantity of Contacts.  Better to have a half dozen meaningful conversations that lead to progress than forty meaningless ones that don’t.
Holiday Networking Tip #5:  Branch Out (at some point).   Sure it is fun and comfortable to hang with your good old friends but there are new priceless business relationships to make out there also.
Holiday Networking Tip #6:  Get an Introduction to the Person You Want to Meet.  An introduction is an implied endorsement. Try to get introduced by the hostess/host or the most respected person at the event with whom you have a relationship.
Holiday Networking Tip #7:  Carry /Use Breath Mints or Those Dissolving Strip Things (not gum).  Sure you want to try the garlic artichoke dip but halitosis is bad for business. Good breath is a must. And as for gum, smacking anything at a networking function is discouraged.
7 more Holiday Networking Tips in next post!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.  Be Progress.

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