Not everyone considers themselves a networking master. But there’s no need to stress out over making a good impression with new people. Just follow these five steps, and you’ll get to know your colleagues better, without having to memorize “How to Win Friends and Influence People“:
1) Repeat Your New Friend’s Name. This one comes out of the Dale Carnegie handbook, but it’s a classic for a reason. After meeting someone new, feel free to use their name often to cement it in your mind.
2) Lead Conversation. If you find it difficult to get a discussion going, here’s an easy question to start off with: “What do you think of the conference so far?”
3) Quality, Not Quantity. Don’t worry about getting your business cards into as many hands as possible — just focus on having meaningful interactions with a few people.
4) Take Notes. Don’t rely on your brain to remember everything about every interaction — jot down important details about the contacts you’ve made and the conversations you’ve had (if you can put it on the back of their business cards, even better).
5) Follow Up. Within 24 hours, send a friendly email or message on social media. You may also want to see if you both plan on attending a future event, to make plans to meet again.