Networking success tip #2 is the second of So, you’re off to another networking event. You read my first article on this, and you feel empowered. You’re strong. You’re going to rock the event!
When you arrive, you sign in, and if you pre-registered, perhaps you get a nametag that shows your name and your company name in teensy letters that you couldn’t read with a magnifying glass.
Or, if you’re given a blank one, you dutifully cram everything you can onto it, so that others will know who you are, using tiny letters to fit everything in.
Does this sound familiar?
As you wander around, looking for a familiar face, you might wonder who everyone else is. So many strangers. Oh, look! You found a familiar face! But what’s his name … ? You’re not sure, so you turn away and pretend you didn’t see him.
If you really want to be seen as approachable — and who doesn’t? — here is a tip for you!
Put just your first name on your nametag – in BIG letters.
1. First impressions are huge. If others can greet you by name without having to feel embarrassed because they forgot it, you’ll start off on the right foot.
2. People talking with you may then remember more about you – maybe where and when they first met you and what you discussed – which could lead to an even better conversation this time.
3. Do you really want people leaning in THAT close to your body to read a “business card” on your chest? Talk about invading your personal space …
As Scott Ginsberg (Hello! My Name is Scott) says, it helps others feel comfortable approaching you. Even if they have no idea who you are, it’s easy for others say, “Hey, Susan! Great to see you!” Many people are uncomfortable at these events, so make it easy for everyone to address you. They will be ever so grateful, and you’ll likely be remembered for all the right reasons.
Networking works when we know how to work it. Stay tuned for #3 in this series to find out why smart networkers never take their business cards to a networking event.
As Maya Angelou famously said:
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.
What are YOUR thoughts on this? What would you add to help others succeed at networking?