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The art of improving your networking skills

Whether you’re an entrepreneur or an employee, you know how important networking is to maintain relationships and referrals.

Most of the time, you dread attending a huge office meeting or a  conference. But the truth is that they are great places to connect with other professionals from different fields and expand your social circle. Whether you come across a fellow agent from your neighborhood or a complimentary vendor whom you can partner with, networking is a good way to develop more leads. These  people you meet maybe acquaintances or strangers, you need to give the best impression. Failure to adhere to acceptable networking etiquette can result in lost opportunities and severe damage to your business and personal brand.

Here are the do’s & don’ts for mastering the art of effective networking:


1.Smile- Usually at grand events, everyone watches people as they make an entrance. Don’t look sleepy as if you’ve jumped right out of the bed and you’re there only to mark your attendance. Have good posture, smile and be noticed.

2.Start with a firm handshake- This is a must, along with good eye contact. Make sure your hands are  clean, not sweaty or dirty. Maybe rub a little sanitizer before you walk in the event. –Devesh Dwivedi, Entrepreneur In Making

3.Carry your business cards- As you keep introducing yourself to new people, don’t forget to hand over your business card. Maybe someone will specially ask for your business card because they truly want to get back to you.


4.Stay in touch- Successful leaders spend at least an hour a week working on their network. Spend some time each week checking in with your network. It could be sharing an article, making an introduction, saying hello or meeting for coffee.

“Keep in mind that meeting new people and following up later during the event or after the event is what makes the networking work” -Bettina Seidman, Seidbet Associates.


1.Talk too much- Nobody is interested to know if you tripped on the stairs, spilled coffee on your shirt and accidentally left your business cards at home. Everyone has bad days, but you only have once chance to make a good first impression.

2.Spend time with your phone- This is the time when you should totally keep your phone aside. Don’t use it until and unless it’s an emergency call. If you’re too absorbed in your phone then no one will mingle with you.  If you’re too busy to talk to new contacts now – at a place and time dedicated to networking – why should they think you’ll have time for them in the future?

3.Be Negative- Resist talking negatively about your company, industry, your clients and competitors. Don’t pass critical judgments about how others talk or have been dressed. Its gives an impression of how pessimistic you are! So it’s better to talk positive, exchange ideas and thoughts as it will be of more help!

Entrepreneurs, let the networking do’s and don’ts above help you get the results you need from your next networking experience.

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Written by HerCareer is a career community of women seeking consult, inspiration, and the tools needed to succeed in the workplace.