One key component to becoming an effective networker is as simple as this: show up early and stay late.
When you arrive early at a networking event, you are there to greet and introduce yourself to others as they arrive. This helps maximize exposure and gives you extra time to work on “relationship building”. We all know that people like to do business with people they know, like, and trust. Taking the time to talk to others and learn about them and their business is the first step to building that relationship. The same is true of staying after the event…you can stay to talk with those you haven’t had an opportunity to meet yet and to continue conversations you had with those you met before the event.
If you absolutely have to leave make sure to follow up via email or a phone call and finish those conversations. You can also follow up simply to say “it was great to meet you” or, better yet, “what can I do to help your business?”.
Simple….and VERY effective!