Monday, January 16, 2006

Networking at the Top

Sometimes the best marketing is done face-to-face – especially with those key, affluent individuals who hold the purse strings for major companies and customers.

In a recent issue devoted to its annual list of the 100 richest Canadians, Canadian Business magazine featured a story, Schmoozing 101, on how to network with the business elite. Here are a few highlights:

· Whether you're in an airport lounge or attending a black-tie gala, always be ready to network. If you know in advance who you might meet, find out at least three things about them. A quick Google search can help you figure out where people are from, where they work and what charities they support. You should also prepare a few questions, such as, "What are your tips for being successful?"

· Prepare a brief (seven to nine seconds) personal introduction to break the ice.

· Master small talk. Ease into conversations by finding a common interest.

· If it's necessary to talk business at a social function, provide a subtle warning to gauge its appropriateness.

· Follow up with an e-mail and a handwritten note. Know when to back off if someone's not returning calls.

· Never ignore spouses or significant others. They like to be in the conversation too – and could be influential advocates in future.

For the full story, click here.

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