Tip #1: If you’re looking to connect meaningfully, place the other before you.
Most successful people are busy people. They’ve carved time out of their day to meet with you. Time is a resource neither party can redeem after you’ve parted ways. Be considerate.
After every meeting, thank each and every person for their contribution and time. A follow up thank you builds rapport and communicates respect, paving the way towards a meaningful connection. Your thank you also provides an opportunity to make sure your intent and needs have been clearly communicated.
Tip #2: People cannot help you if they don’t know how.
“I’m looking for a job” will quickly place you into a forgotten drawer of miscellaneous. However, confidently stating, “I’m looking to support locally owned restaurants with sustainable missions” positions you in a specific category, making your ask an easy recall. Guess who will be first in mind when any kind of opportunity in the health, wellness, hospitality, sustainable industries pops up? Be specific and know what you want. People generally want to see you succeed and will help if they know how.
Tip #3: Jazzy Jane from Toledo is sitting by the cheese dip.
Effective networking and memorable impressions go hand in hand. It’s like learning names. Create a colorful story when you first meet someone, and you’ll have an easier time asking them to pass the salad bowl.
What characteristics separate you from the crowd? Practice telling your unique narrative to a friend. If you aren’t comfortable making your remarkable presence known, chances are high that you won’t during your meeting, either.