I came up with the phrase “It’s Not Net-Sit or Net-Eat — It’s Called Network” back in 1985 when I went to a business mixer and witnessed virtually everyone either sitting around the edges of the room or standing around eating and drinking.
Almost no one was actually networking.
This struck me like a bolt of lightning. As a result, for the first mixer that I personally organized I went to a printer and printed up my networking phrase on little signs and put them all around the room to remind people why they were there.
I also came up with my 10 Commandments of Networking which I printed and posted around the room.
The 10 Commandments of Networking
- Have the tools to network with you at all times (card holder, badge cards, etc.).
- Set a goal for the number of people you’ll meet.
- Act like a host, not a guest.
- Listen and ask questions.
- Don’t try to sell to them.
- Give referrals whenever possible.
- Exchange business cards.
- Manage your time efficiently.
- Write notes about your conversation.
- Follow up!
What a difference! By just giving a little guidance to the participants, the event was much more successful than the ones I’d seen in the past.
Stand up, get off your phones and network.
Blog originally published on http://ivanmisner.com
Dr. Ivan Misner is the Founder and Chief Visionary Officer of BNI. Called the “Father of Modern Networking” by CNN and one of the “Top Networking Experts” by Forbes, Dr. Misner is considered to be one of the world’s leading experts on business networking and has been a keynote speaker for major corporations and associations throughout the world. He and his wife, Elisabeth, are now “empty nesters” with three adult children. In his spare time, he is also an amateur magician and a black belt in karate.