Friday, November 27th, 2020

Connect! – Simple Steps to Better Networking

By Cathy Kuzel on Jan 31 2011 • Filed under The Connected Woman

Making new connections means reaching out.

A new year is the time for planning putting into practice those plans that will propel us into the new year and beyond (thanks Buzz Lightyear!). An integral piece to the plan is attending networking events. Business is built on relationships and relationships traditionally start with that ‘face-to-face’ encounter. Here are some strategies to determine the ‘right’ networking events to attend and steps to take when meeting a new person.


There is plenty of information online to help you determine whether or not attending the event will be beneficial to you. If you still don’t have the ‘big picture,’ phone the organizer and ask these questions:

  • who typically attends these functions? (entrepreneurs, B2B, B2C, Not-for-Profits, etc.)
  • is it industry specific? (ie: health professionals, realtors, direct sales, sports etc.)
  • is it area specific? (local, provincial, national or international)
  • how many attend?
  • agenda for the event?
  • cost?
  • do you have to become a member to attend?

By seeking out this information, it will allow you to make informed decisions on the types of networking events you wish to attend and the frequency that you will attend them.

Steps to Meeting a New Person

Everyone has different methods that they employ for networking. The best method is to be a guest of an existing member and have them introduce you to people that may be a good resource or potential client. If you’re going solo, here are steps to making a connection:

1. The Initial Introduction

  • introduce yourself and repeat the other person’s name once they’ve introduced themselves.
  • find a general common ground ie: “Are you a regular attendee of this group?” or “How do you know Cathy?”

  • listen and respond

  • if possible, be the first to ask what it is that they do. By allowing them first introductions, they will be more apt to listen to you when it is your turn.

  • offer to exchange business cards.

2. The Initial Follow-up

If you decide to nurture this new found relationship:

  • send a note or email

  • send something of interest based on the conversation

  • always ask how you can help through your services or in general.

3. The Ongoing Follow-up

After the initial follow-up you will have a better idea of who needs to be on your ‘A’ list and who will remain an acquaintance. If you decide it’s the right relationship:

  • send appropriate magazine/ezine articles or information that is relevant to them

  • invite them to events that they could benefit from

  • always ask how you can help

The final word

Talk to individuals that you normally wouldn’t. Pre-judging is a terrible trap to fall into because even though that individual may not be a match for your business, you have no idea who they are connected to or who their circle of influence includes until you speak with them. You may have just missed an opportunity!

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