Recipe for a Successful Networking Meeting

Those new to networking often have questions about what a successful networking meeting looks like.  While each meeting will vary somewhat depending on the participants and the situation, there is indeed a recipe for a successful meeting.

Opening – Make a Connection

  • Shake hands and make eye contact
  • Introduce yourself and if someone connected you, be sure to reference the connection
  • Demonstrate genuine interest in your contact
  • Take the lead from your contact if this is strictly professional
  • If you need to break the ice, ask how their day is going
  • You can comment on photos or articles in their office
  • Confirm the time you agreed upon for this meeting
Image Courtesy of baerpm.wordpress.com

Image Courtesy of baerpm.wordpress.com

Questions and Answers – Learn about the Company & Industry

Be prepared to conduct an informational interview

Ask your contact questions about his/her roles and responsibilities,  and the career path that led to this current position

Ask questions about the company and industry, be prepared with questions based on your research

Ask for their advice

Ask for contacts they recommend you speak with and professional associations they suggest you join

Closing – Thank You

  • Bring the meeting to a timely close
  • Confirm any agreed upon next steps
  • Say thank you for their time and insight
  • Ask if you can stay in touch, suggest connecting via Linked In
  • Share your contact information
  • Follow up with a handwritten thank you note

To maximize the value of the connection, be sure to follow up on any next steps and reach out to any connections they recommended.  Keep you contact posted on your progress.

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