4 Rules for the Networking Rookie

December 10, 2008

5:23 pm

I saw this post a couple days ago about networking tips for Silicon Valley … we all know I feel about the valley.  I thought they were good tips that can and should be applied to all networking situations.  As many of you know the DC area is getting a little more tech hip these days and along with that comes some great events with tons of networking opportunities.

About a year ago, I was new to the scene.  I was just starting to get into the social media scene.  I remember my first event I attended, I knew only the person I went with and was a bit intimidated.  But after a few under the belt it gets a lot easier.  Once you meet and connect with one person, the dominoes start to fall form there.

So here are those tips from the Silicon Valley post, lets take a look and see how we can best utilize them.

1. Never, ever, underestimate anyone

Ok I admit it, you probably have the same story, but at some event you see someone who acts a little odd, looks a little different and you may tend to shy away.  But think about something, that may be the founder of the next big thing.  And in talking with them and taking a few seconds to get to know them could lead you places you may have never envisioned.

2. Be genuine.

Don’t give people anything but who you are.  They see through the facade much easier and faster than you would ever imagine.

3. Be patient.

You probably are not going to make that blockbuster deal right there after the intro over a cocktail.  Just follow the other rules here and then see how things go.  After events I go home, take all the business cards I have gathered and enter them into some for of CRM, like Higherise form the 37 Signals guys.  I also note how and when I met them and what they do as best I can remember.  I also take a minute to give a quick hello/follow up email to them.  It keeps the dialogue going and you never know were that continued dialogue can take you.

4. Give before you get.

I have heard this a lot and try to follow it to a tee.  People dont want someone to walk up introduce themselves and start in on everything they have going on.  As in #3, be patient in the moment, and get to know the other person.  See what they have going on and ask questions.  It will come back around to you, trust me.

Do you have any other tips for the networking challenged ?

TECH cocktail Community Contributed Knowledge

Jimmy Gardner is the founder of MyDropBin and 2Plus11 Technology. He works in the technology field as a government contractor. He also blogs at East Cost Blogging. He can be reached at jimmy@eastcoastblogging.com. Or add Jimmy as a friend in the TECH cocktail COMMUNITY.

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Mark Bebawy (@markbebawy) is a Washington, D.C. metro native with a passion for all things web, social media, and startup related. Mark has an extensive background in technology, having worked in the field running his own IT consulting company that catered to small business.

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