How to prepare yourself for networking:
First, think about who you are, what is important to you and where you want to be a year from now.
Second, remember to be a connector with people rather than a collector of business cards.
Third, look for what you have in common with people, like your background, nutrition experiences, family, favorite foods. Focus on relationships. The little stuff creates the big stuff and it is way more fun! The business will follow!
Ask & Listen: Everyone wants to be heard so ask others about themselves and really listen to their answers. You will be amazed at the connections you can make by doing this – and that’s when the real networking happens.
Melissa Joy Dobbins, MS, RDN, CDE, founder/owner of Sound Bites specializing in communications coaching and media.
Have your elevator pitch perfected so that you can succinctly respond to “what do you do?” and “how do you do that?” For example: “I partner with professionals ready to move from where they are today to where they dream to be in the future with their career. Since everyone has the answers within them, but don’t realize it, I give them the confidence they need to be successful through career coaching.”
Linda S. Eck Mills, MBA, RDN, LDN, FADA, owner of Dynamic Communications Systems
Saying “yes” whenever you can is really an incredible way to network. You never know what opportunities may come your way by being willing to take on an extra project, go to another event, or help a colleague when possible. Going the extra step – even if it’s a small step – to help your colleagues or to become involved can make a big difference.
McKenzie Hall, RD, blogger and co-owner of Nourish RDs
Allow equal time for each person to contribute to the conversation. Often times, people are so anxious to get all of their information out that they wind up dominating the conversation without even realizing it. Also, find common ground and start the conversation from that point. You’d be amazed at how terrific conversations can blossom when asking someone where they found their necklace or their shoes!
Robin Plotkin, RD, LD, Blogger for Dallas Morning News Health Blog
Put your photo on your business card. When you get home, from a conference for example, with a stack of cards, you really, really try to remember who’s who, but it’s not possible. If you want to be remembered, don’t put a picture of an apple on your card, put a picture of yourself.
HAPPY NETWORKING 🙂