Chamber events are great for meeting people and sharing ideas. The key skill that is needed to make them successful for you is NETWORKING.

Sam Zamarippa, an Atlanta-based networking guru advises, “networking is being interested in other people and having something interesting to say.” That means you have to prepare for the next Chamber event not just show up. First, be focused on others and what is important to them and second come to the event with something they will be interested in talking about. For example, books you have read, movies you have seen, vacations you have taken or even TV shows that have captured your interest. There is a rule in networking: stay away from topics such as sex, politics, and religion. Once you know what interests them, you can adjust your dialogue to be “them focused.”

Don Newman, Bank of North Carolina executive, provides tips to supercharge your networking. Prepare for the event by setting objectives.

Make the mental shift from, “what can I get from you” to “what can we create together.” Go to the functions alone.

If there is a seated portion of the event, put yourself next to someone you don’t know. In your preparation, have some “go to” questions that are open ended.

Practice being interested vs. being interesting.

Passion is what drives people. Probe for their passions. The key is asking “what can I do for you?”

Be authentic. Take notes

Read More Tips from SCORE #94 Marketing – Networking.pdf

Networking is a skill that needs to be practiced to positively impact the development of relationships with new connections. So get out there and work the groups to increase your sphere of contacts.

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