Networking Basics


Presence is probably one of the more important areas to ensure is dialed in when performing any kind of networking.


When networking it is important to dress to or above the room. Now having said that we've seen people networking in hoodies, CarHarts, flip-flops, you name it we've seen it. Not every profession is held to the same standard. Keep that in-mind. Just because the expectation for your profession is not an opportunity for you to celebrate.

Many want to feel comfortable or make themselves more approachable. When you're wearing flip-flops it says you don't care about yourself nor the people you're networking with. When you take the time to look professional it says volumes about you and your business.

When in doubt dress up. You are working and this is not a social gather. Leave your T-shirt and flops at the house and put your game face on.

If you're attending a recurring networking function don't start to slack. Keep your professional presence up. It's a job and you need to wear your uniform every single time. You never know who's going to see you for the first time and again your networking function is not a gathering.

When you don't look professional you bring down the whole group.


Don't cuss, use foul language, talk about religion, politics, or sex. When you cuss in what's supposed to be a professional setting you look like a fool. People cringe and don't want to do business with people who're unable to recognize it's not appropriate. Those of you thinking "I just want to be myself" stop. Leave that part of yourself in the backyard or garage where it belongs. You're not out with your gal pals so don't act like it. You can still be fun and personable while maintaining professionalism.

Be prepared. Don't wing it. Go into your networking function knowing exactly who your audience is, what referrals you want, and have a game plan.


Don't show up on-time—show up early. Strolling through the door after an event has started minimizes your time for networking. Conversations have already started and you now have to find someone you know to talk to because everyone else is already communicating.

How to Network

Learning how to network is an ongoing improvement. There's a particular method to networking to deliver the best results.

No Selling

When networking you're not there to sell. That's right networking is not a place where all you do is sell. There's a difference between networking and selling. If you sell to everyone you network with people will not want to network with you. Networking is you learning about each other not selling. You obtain more leads through networking than you do selling at networking functions.


These contacts, members, and relationships are no your friends. Business relationships can progress into friendships but always remember that while in the room you are there representing business social setting. If you can't recognize when this occurs or the different it may be a good idea to keep relationships strictly professional.

Don't take it personal. If people tell you they don't want to do business with you it's because you have an opportunity to improve. You decided to become a business owner but are learning as to just exactly what does that mean. It means you leave as much of your emotions as home as possible and you're there as an employee of your business.


If you don't use it you lose it. Keep up with your contacts and check-in. Networking relationships are just like any other relationship you don't invest time or maintain them you lose the relationship. It doesn't make sense to spend hundreds of hours performing networking to build business relationships just so you cloud let them go. Once you've obtained a relationship you must maintain it.


It is ok to ask for referrals. You're not selling when asking for referrals. Referrals is what it's all about. What to build trust and productivity fast? Give referrals. There're too many who only think about themselves and expect people to bring them referrals just because they're nice. It doesn't work that way. Networking is a relationship and a healthy is a two way street.

Take the First Step

Lead by example and take the first step to meet, provide referral, or help with networking. So many individuals feel that they're doing people a favor just by showing up, wrong. If you're not producing that means if you were to leave or stop showing up you wouldn't be missed. You initiate a one-to-one don't wait for some to approach you.

You're Not Networking Enough

Everyone believes they're a hard worker. There's always opportunities to improve and working harder doesn't mean don't work smarter. How can you network more? How can you get more referrals? Are you providing 10 leads a week? If you can't deliver 10 leads a week you're not networking enough. More networking does mean attend networking functions either. Most business happens outside networking functions. Meet new people. Get in-front of new people. Expand your reach and web of networking. Don't limit yourself to one or two networking functions a week. Should be meeting 3-5 new people a week.


How many leads do you get a month from networking? Don't know, find out. You need to know where your productivity is going. If you spend 40hrs a week and get one referral a month that's not a very good return on investment with your time. That equates to 160hrs to obtain a single referral, which may not even pan out.

The average cost of employee is $20hr for a business. $20 x 160 $3200. That means you need to sell $3200 worth of products and services just to pay yourself to do all that networking.

What gets tracked gets done. Use a timekeeping system. You left your previous job because you though you could get away from process, rule, structure, and as you mature in your business you quickly realize there's a reason for all these things and it's not because they're just trying to make your life difficult.
Toggle is a great time keeping source that's free.

Leave a Comment