Nine tips for Networking for Business Success – The Alphabet Series continues

handshakeNetworking definition: forming business connections and contacts through informal social meetings. In this day and age of 24/7 online-always-on technology, are you networking face to face with others? How often do you get out and about for real, live interchange and exchange? Here are 9 tips for networking success:

  1. Never forget a name and a face.  How many times have you been in a situation where you’ve just introduced yourself to someone, and seconds later, you’ve forgotten their name? According to Dale Carnegie in his book How to Win Friends and Influence People, he says:  “Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” And whether that be in person, or adding it to your tweet or comment, the power of a name can’t be overstated.
  2. Never let ’em see you sweat. Michelle Quillin from New England Multimedia said: “Publicly, a business owner needs to be the picture of confidence no matter what is going on behind the scenes. A confident leader inspires trust and calms the fears and anxieties of both customers and employees.” The same could be said at networking events. An air of confidence is exuded by a firm (non-sweaty) handshake, an ability to meet the other person’s eyes, an “open” posture and a comfort in one’s own presence. In Shakirah Dawud’s words, an ability to look and behave in a “natural” way; uncontrived, with a strong sense of self and purpose. Barbara Klein also said being Natural: “acting this way and being true to yourself” is a key to success.
  3. Lori Gosselin suggests that we “just play nice: be nice, think nice thoughts. Nice people don’t finish last. They make everyone happy they joined the race in the first place.”
  4. Name-dropping was mentioned by Rebekah Bowen as a naive tactic to “win friends and influence people”.
  5. Being nebulous, a word suggested by Bill Dorman will get you NOwhere. A confused, hazy, vague presentation of yourself and your words does not leave a good impression.
  6. Jack Steiner always challenges me with the words he submits, and this week was no different as he suggested Neoterism (I thought it might be a form of terrorism i.e. him terrorizing me with words I don’t know:), but in fact, it’s the introduction of new things, especially words. And I do think you can “terrorize” someone with new words and vocabulary in a social setting. What I like about Jack is that he always helps me out by defining his words, either literally or in context. But people who sprinkle ten-dollar words throughout their talk (often OUT of context), believing it will make them look smart, well…that’s often the time to head to the punch bowl for a much needed break:)
  7. Nuance was noted by both Melody Fletcher and Erin Feldman and it’s often the nuances, or subtleties that are in our facial expression, body language, or tone of voice that speak louder than the words we’re speaking. We’re well advised to realize that those subtle messages might not be so subtle in the eyes of the beholder.
  8. Claudia Andersons word Nascent speaks to that very first encounter, where a potential relationship might start to grow and develop. And since a first impression is made in the first ten seconds, and ninety percent of that is visual, the nascent interaction has huge potential: good, bad or indifferent.
  9. Deonne Higgs’ word was Never, as in Never Give Up and Never Say Never. he also said: “another of my faves of late is “NEW”… I’ve managed to get a new outlook on life, by adopting a new perception and mindset, and this has opened up new opportunities and new friendships for me. How Rocking is that?!”

What other Networking Tips can you share here? Bring ’em on!


  • Bill Dorman

    Mahvelous will be my M word……Oh wait…..that’s going the wrong way, huh? That was just Outstanding, wasn’t it? Then why don’t you credit me with Opportunity; what might appear as a ‘problem’ is really an opportunity in disguise, right?

    Yes, never let them see you sweat but also don’t be afraid to let them know you are human.

    It also helps to have the proper Nowledge…..oh wait, that’s not right either. 

    Something akin to my post today, you can be nice and still be effective. Being nice doesn’t mean letting people run over you or being weak. I think we need more ‘niceness’ in our interaction with others.

    That’s all I got for now, headed off to my sales meeting and an appointment; hope you have a great day. 

    • Kaarina Dillabough

       Just got back from reading your post today @twitter-34985693:disqus , and you’ve piqued my curiosity on who those “experts” are. I’m in favour of the traits you outlined: awesome!

      You always make me laugh. You’re the only one I can think of who’d start doing the alphabet in reverse. But now I have you down for Outstanding and Opportunity for next week’s post.

      You’ve been knee-deep in meetings lately: hope they’re all productive and fruitful! (and no, that doesn’t mean full of fruit:) Cheers! Kaarina

      • Bill Dorman

        Good meetings indeed; I’m having a good year so far….

  • Life, for instance

    ooooooh Kaarina! I love how well you wove these “n” words into a theme! The bar just keeps getting higher! 
    Yeah @twitter-34985693:disqus , the next letter is “O”! as in 😮 I went the wrong way! O is going to be interesting. Here are some: onus, open, opportunity, one. I can’t wait to see what theme you weave the o words into!
    Happy Monday

    • Kaarina Dillabough

       Happy Monday to you @twitter-228904159:disqus :) You are all making me work hard to weave a tapestry of inclusion, involvement and words, but I love the challenge! Heading over to your blog post now. Cheers! Kaarina

  • Al

    Hi Kaarina.  This is great. Never be Negative.  Always Positive. Never talk more than the person you are meeting.  LISTEN.  What was that you said about 2 ears and 1 mouth ? ha.  Take Notes if you can.  I need to.

    love all the words.  My “O” is Optimistic and adding on to Bill’s; Obstacles are really Opportunities.

    Take CARE.


    • Kaarina Dillabough

       Hello @55bda8bf067c222f67632d2dc41af473:disqus : great to see you here! I’m hoping that you continue to WTSD, haha! Your optimistic attitude always brings a smile to my face, and your words will be included next week. Cheers! Kaarina

  • Erin Feldman

    Lovely post, Kaarina! You did a great job of weaving the different words together into a unified theme. 

    I’m always working on remembering names. I can remember details but names? A little harder. 

    • Kaarina Dillabough

       Thanks @ErinFeldman:disqus . Your new blog is looking awesome, and I’ll always remember its name! Cheers! Kaarina

  • Anonymous

    Hi @KaarinaDillabough:disqus …I’m almost sad that we are on the other side of the alphabet now.  This is such fun.  Your list of nine was fabulous!! And there is never a nebulous feeling when one visits here! Thanks for using my word! I appreciate that.  As a tip of the hat to my husband who LOVES to discuss the possibility of time being omnipresent, I’d like to offer omnipresence as my “o” word :-)
    Oh my!

  • The JackB

    My comment applies to Bill’s post today as well as here. People remember how you make them feel. There are relatively few advantages in making people use a dictionary to try to understand what you are saying.

    Make them feel stupid or like it is “work” to be with you and they won’t be.

    • Kaarina Dillabough

       So true @TheJackB:disqus . Now I have to head back over to Bill’s to see what you said there:) Cheers! Kaarina

  • Jen Olney

     Nuance – That’s the one I tend to love, Kaarina. There are so many reads you can make in those nooks and grannies. You have to have a keen eye to read to gauge your audience, pick up on the subtle movements, it’s very telling and you can make the most hay out of those moments.

    • Kaarina Dillabough

       When we truly observe and pay attention to what’s being said “between the lines” @twitter-121085582:disqus , we get a much clearer picture of what a person is really saying. Cheers! Kaarina

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  • Jens P. Berget

    I am terrible at networking. And I always forget names, but not faces. And that’s a bad combination, although it would be worse if I had no idea who the person was. I completely agree with @TheJackB:disqus and @twitter-34985693:disqus – people remember how you make them feel. And that’s the reason why I keep talking to the same people over and over again :)

    • Kaarina Dillabough

       Networking is such an imp0rtant thing @berget:disqus , especially when you’re in business for yourself. Here’s a little tip to help you remember someone’s name when you meet them. Really “be in the moment” when the person says their name. Look them in the eye, and during a handshake, repeat their name three times silently in your head. Then, use their name out loud, like “Jens, it’s so good to meet you”. If you can do that 2 more times in the next span of conversation (assuming you’re in conversation), when the opportunity arises, use their name again: “So Jens, tell me a little more about your business.”

      You don’t want it to sound forced or phony, but memorization comes from repetition, so if you can weave their name comfortably into conversation, it helps a lot.

      Also, using rhyming or a mental image can help. Something you might find beneficial is the “method of loci”. Here’s a link to a site that describes how using the rooms of your house to “implant” a memory works.

      Cheers! Kaarina

      • Jens P. Berget

        That’s awesome. I’ll try that tomorrow. I’m going to attend a business meeting with some people I haven’t met before :)

        • Kaarina Dillabough

           Brilliant @berget:disqus : let me know how it goes:) Let’s see how many people’s names you can remember/ put a name to a face. Enjoy!

  • Erica Allison

    My husband says I’m like “Rainman” when it comes to people and remembering them. I always remember a face and if don’t remember your name, I have no shame in going up and asking, noting that I’m certain we’ve met before. 

    People most always appreciate my honesty in forgetting, but more importantly, my honesty in remembering them and wanting to continue the conversation or connection. We all want to be known or remembered, right? Making someone feel that way is like gold.  Doing it naturally, as Shakirah points out, is even better.

    • Kaarina Dillabough

       You might want to check out the link I put below in my response to @berget:disqus re: the “method of loci” for improving one’s memory. A really good tool.

      And doing it naturally? The only way to go:) Cheers! Kaarina P.S. I just emailed you @47d58be98d1441a276245024c9457dbf:disqus on an important matter:)

  • Jayme Soulati

    I like this post tons; my favorite and thanks to The Jack for teaching all a thing or two.

    • Kaarina Dillabough

       Thanks @twitter-22830278:disqus . @TheJackB:disqus keeps us schooled:) Now how about some “O” words for next week’s Alphabet post, my friend. Cheers! Kaarina

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  • Barbara Klein

    Amazing and innovative way the alphabet series continue – I love it! 

    Any other networking tips: as in any other relationship it goes beyong the wooing phase and proceeds to building trust and remembering small and trivial things about a person (like what size snow shoes do you wear?). 

    On to the letter “O”: openess (as in being willing and prepared to meet somebody without any prejudice), “Oh” (as in childlike curiosity), optimal (a state of mind to be achieved) and “ottimo” (hopefully the kind of quality I will encounter in my trip to Rome, starting tomorrow).

    Kaarina, congrats on a wonderful post, three cheers to the snow queen!

    • Kaarina Dillabough

       Thanks my dear friend @BarbaraKlein:disqus : your “O” words will definitely be included:)

      Remembering the “little things” is, I believe, even more powerful than remembering the big things about a person. The colour they wear, a phrase they use, a favourite food or beverage…it’s the little things that show we care and remember.

      ENJOY your trip to Rome! What a wonderful time you will have, I’m sure. Take lots of photos. I will enjoy living vicariously through you. Cheers! Kaarina P.S. I just DM’d you and you need to know…luv you my friend:)

  • Deeone Higgs

    Oh man, thanks for the mention Kaarina. Funny thing is, I thought I had commented on this… as a matter of fact I remember explicitly doing so. I guess I didn’t post it the day I made the comment; a call or something must have come in and distracted me from what I was doing. Good thing I came back to check and see if you had responded to the comment that wasn’t there. 😀

    I already loved the idea of the alphabet theme, but the tips on networking was also fun to read as well. Everyone’s points you shared here were brilliant. I’d have to agree with Barbara’s point the most… being ourselves tend to get the whole networking ball going. If a person is able to portray their personality in a set time frame given; that I believe really takes skill.

    I also loved the  quote you shared from Dale’s  book (which also happens to be one of my favorite reads). People take pride in their name, and when a person chooses not to take the time or effort to learn it, they really say to that individual, “You’re not important enough to remember.” If there’s any doubt of how to pronounce a name, one only needs to ask for clarification. Not a hard thing to do, but does require a willingness to do. 

    A “O” word that has come in handy for me in networking has been “Observe.” I’m learning that we don’t always have to ask people what they think, we simply have to observe their actions. Actions speak volumes! :)


    • Kaarina Dillabough

       Great to see you here @DeeoneHiggs:disqus , and I now have you down for “observe” for next week’s post.

      You made me smile with your “I thought I had commented on this”. I did that the other day on another blog post. I was sure I’d commented, went back to check the comment stream, and nope…I must have done it in my dreams, haha.

      My mantra is a quote from Shakespeare: “This above all, to thine own self be true.” So I agree…being ourselves is the only self to be:) Cheers! Kaarina

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