Five Expert Tips to Accelerate Your Networking

Author Porter Gale may have spelled it out most clearly: Your Network is Your Net Worth.

If you could isolate only one single factor to determine career success, from landing your very first position to advancing up the corporate ladder and even helping when things aren’t going well, it’s having a solid network in place.

Networking is about making connections and building enduring, mutually beneficial relationships. It’s a vitally important skill, yet one that still mystifies many people.

Let’s take a look at 5 networking tips from industry experts:

1. Change form a “Guest” to “Host” mentality

We all know that it can be a challenge when meeting new people, and when we do we tend to fall under two categories. Dr. Adele Scheele, author of Skills for Success, says that people in a networking event tend to behave as either “hosts” or as “guests.”

Hosts exhibit gracious manners and go out of their way to meet people they don’t know, start conversations, introduce others, and generally be the friendly connector at an event.

Guests, however, might act in the exact opposite way. They wait for someone else to take their coats, offer them a drink, and introduce them around the room. Dr. Scheele suggests that the key is to moving from guest behavior to host behavior.

So next time you’re in a networking situation, shift to a host mentality as a way to be better remembered.

2. Remember their name

While some people claim they “never forget a face,” I think the majority of people have a problem remembering names of people they just met.

Benjamin Levy, the author of Remember Every Name Every Time, advocates a framework called the FACE method: Focus, Ask, Comment, Employ.

Here’s how it works:

  • First, you must Focus: Lock in on the person’s face
  • Then you Ask: Inquire which name they prefer (“Is it Dave or David?”)
  • Next, you should Comment: Say something about the name and cross-reference it in your head (“My brother’s best friend’s name was Dave”)
  • Lastly, Employ: Put the name to use to drive it home (“Nice seeing you, Dave”)

3. Work on your body language

According to body language expert Vanessa Van Edwards of, one of many body language techniques is to point your feet towards the other person you are speaking with, which is an easy way to show that you are engaged in the conversation.

This might not seem like much, but our brain actually registers the feet subconsciously, and it also has the added benefit of forcing us to point our torso and head towards someone. This is a nonverbal way of telling someone you are interested and connected.

4. Continue the conversation

Many people are comfortable starting a conversation, but have trouble continuing it. This can often lead to the dreaded awkward silence as you think about what to say next and keep the other person engaged.

Public speaker and communication consultant Dan O’Connor suggests using the following phrase next time the person you’re speaking with offers up a pause in the conversation:

“That’s interesting. Tell me more.”

This amazingly simple line can be used to continue the conversation, and makes the other person want to continue speaking because you’re interested in what they were saying.

Rather than being the person that always needs to get the next line in, this allows others the chance to speak about what they think, feel or love to do, building rapport.


5. End the conversation politely

Starting up a conversation is one thing, getting out is another. What do you do when you find yourself trapped in a dialogue that you want to get out of, without hurting the other person’s feelings?

According to How To Work A Room by Susan Roane, she advises to say, “It was nice to meet you, Sam. I don’t want to take much more of your time, especially because there might be others who want to speak with you too.”

Another option to end the conversation could be, “Hey Dylan, I’m so glad we talked. You gave me some interesting ideas to think about.” Including the name of the person makes it just a little more personal and helps to signal that the end has come.

Or if all else fails, use the old stand-by: Politely excuse yourself to refill your drink, grab another snack, or use the restroom. Just be sure to follow through… saying that you really need to use the bathroom and then heading straight over to a more popular group of people to join their conversation could backfire some day.


Whether you’re actively looking for a job or not, networking gives you the chance to socialize and connect with others. Sometimes people will be in the same industry and have the same goals as you, but often times it’s people outside your core network that can help you the most.

Whether you like it or not, each time you meet someone, you’re marketing your business and yourself. Effective networking is all about finding mutual benefits, but always start by determining how you can offer a service or help someone else. Give first, don’t ask.

Now if you’ll excuse me, dear reader, unfortunately my glass is empty and I need to go grab a refill.

Note: This article was originally written by Aurus Sanchez, The Conversationalist, and first appeared in a post for

Network Your Way To Success


Building a well-connected network takes time and effort, but if you have fun along the way, it could make your life a lot easier.

Hey everyone, pull up a chair.

In fact, fill out a nametag, introduce yourself to the person sitting next to you, grab a drink, and tell us what you do. This article is about one of the single most important skills you can learn in life: Networking.

Maybe you’re thinking, hey, I network every single day on Facebook and Twitter.

And, you’d only be half right. Yes, you might be social networking, but just because you have a few hundred friends on Facebook doesn’t mean you’re truly connected to them. In fact…

Because it’s so easy to stay in touch electronically, meeting people in real life does two things:

1) It provides a much stronger connection when you do meet in person
2) It sets you apart from everyone else that does not make the effort

Granted, I’m not breaking any new ground here. But sometimes we all need a little reminder.

You know when you run into someone quickly, and you both say “Hey we should get together some time?”  Don’t just let the opportunity slip by… make a significant effort to do that.

It’s too easy to use social networking as a crutch and just send them a Tweet or an email that says “great running into you.”

Use these tools to truly connect with people on a different level. So pull out your Android right that second to send yourself an email reminder to connect with them. Bring up your Google calendar to find an open date. Skip over to Yelp to find a coffee shop you’ve never tried. And put that shiny iPhone to good use and call them to get together. You won’t regret it.

Four Valuable Networking Tips:

1) Keep track of your contacts
As a data geek I started a Google Docs spreadsheet to keep track of certain networking connections. Not my best friends of course, who are in my phone or email, but the ones that start out as loose ties. In other words, that person you met at a conference, the new business connection, or a friend of a friend.

Before you toss that business card, take 1 minute to simply jot down their name, title, email, and where you met them. This can also be done on LinkedIn’s “Notes” feature, certain apps, Evernote, or whatever system works for you.

2) Make the effort to attend 1 event per week
For an extrovert, one event per week might not even sound like much. For an introvert, it might sound like torture. But here’s the thing, it doesn’t always have to be around business. Start with hobbies you love doing, and pick industry events that you actually like going to. Maybe it’s a dynamic speaker or a new class or a meetup group. Force yourself to skip this week’s episode of Game of Thrones, and put yourself out there.

I’ll admit that it’s a lot easier for people to connect in a place like New York City… there is no shortage of after-work cocktails, weekend brunches, and countless events, all just a short subway trip or cab ride away. But wherever you live, do what works for you… it could be baseball in Boston, church in Chattanooga, or snowboarding at Snowbird.

3) Don’t expect the world
I go into every networking event with 2 simple goals. If I can learn ONE thing that I can use in my job or in my life, or if I can meet just ONE person that I have something in common with, then it has been a success.

4) Keep an eye out for super connectors
As you make connections and build up your network, you’ll start to notice a few “super connectors” are responsible for a larger share of new introductions. These people seem to give you an exponential amount of key contacts just by being around them, so you should make an extra effort to stay in touch with them and find yourself at events they attend.