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Networking During The Holidays

Twelve Tips for Holiday Networking

We hear it over and over, the holidays are a slow time of year for

doing business. Don't you believe it! With all the holiday

parties, events, and family visits, the holiday season provides

some of the best networking opportunities of the entire year.

To help you make the most of your holiday season, The Networking

Gurus share their Twelve Tips for Holiday Networking:

1. Say Yes! to all those Holiday Parties and Events

Well, maybe not to everything, but if you're looking to fill your

pipeline with new people, you'll meet them at everything from the

neighborhood open house to the office party, as well as those

special holiday business networking events. Attending holiday

events is also a good way to follow-up with the people you already

know, such as your clients, business acquaintances, associates,

referral partners, and friends and family.

2. Host a Holiday Party

Have an open house at your home, or host a party at a bar or

restaurant. This is a great way to reach out and reconnect with

people in your network.

3. Send out those Holiday Greetings

This is a perfect time of year to send cards, letters, emails, and

newsletters. It lets people in your network know you are thinking

about them. And while you're at it, you can send them to the

people you've just met at all those holiday parties you've been

going to. If you need a convenient, inexpensive way to do this,

click here .

4. Be prepared for each event you attend

Be ready to clearly and concisely tell people what you do and who

you do it for, have a prepared introduction that rolls off your

tongue. And don't forget your business cards! And while you're

at it, bring your calendar and a pen so you can schedule follow-up

meetings in the moment.

5. Ask for introductions

Know who you want to meet and don't be afraid to ask your friends,

relatives, and old and new acquaintances for introductions.

6. Prepare some questions to get the conversation going

"How do you know the host/hostess?"

"Who do you know at this event?"

"What has been the highlight of your year?"

"How's the family?"

"What plans do you have for next year?"

"How was business this year?"

"What kinds of clients are you looking for these days?"

(Be prepared to answer these questions as well!)

7. Talk about something other than business

In building relationships, which is what networking is all about,

you want to get to know people on a personal level, as well as a

professional level. Take advantage of the holidays to relax and

socialize and get to know people a little better.

8. Focus on other people

Listen at least as much as you talk. It's better to err on the

side of listening too much rather than talking too much about

yourself and your business.

9. Dress appropriately

What kind of event is it? A dressy holiday party? An office

party? A happy hour or open house? Whether it's dress up or

casual, make sure you look professional.

10. Send the host or hostess a thank you note

Send a hand-written personal thank you note that lets them know

what a wonderful time you had.

11. Call people

You can make a more personal connection with people by calling them

at the holidays. This works not just with friends and family but

with your best business connections as well.

12. Have fun, but don't eat or drink too much

It's the holidays, so relax and enjoy yourself. It's fine to have

a good time, but you don't need to be the life of the party. Act

like a professional at all times.

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