The BEST Secrets of Networking

Have you ever walked into a room and you didn’t know a soul? No one who looks familiar, looks like you, acts like you, talks like you… what do you do?? How do you connect? You’re there to create connections for business of course, but how do you even begin? Not to worry. ADS and Ray Abram are here to power-pack you with the BEST Secrets of Networking. This originally aired as a Facebook Live event, however, you still have the opportunity now here on our blog to ask questions of our expert networkers. We’ll be here to chat with you! You can also check out the video and podcast versions of this.


[ 1 ] Forget about yourself.

Be present with that person you’re talking to. Engage and be present. You have to be interested in the person. Before anyone can be interested in you, you have to be interested in them. Nobody cares what you know until they know how much you care. They’re interested in what’s in it for them and not so much what’s in it for you. Be inquisitive – ask questions with sincerity and authenticity. You have to be curious about people – not just wait for your opportunity to sell them something (which is what people hate about networking).

EXPERT TIP 1: Be well read in order to be more interesting. It’s a great way to have something to talk about outside of your own niche, industry, bubble, etc. Don’t just read snippets and articles. The goal is to have an in-depth conversation with someone on a topic. It helps you connect with people because it gives you more ways to connect with someone. Reading The One Thing Book was great for us! Check out our book review on that here.

EXPERT TIP 2: Seek to involve others. Extroverts are the high energy people in the room and listening is hard for them. They’re the life of the party – the talkers. They have to learn how to real it back and listen more. Ambiverts are a mix – sometimes they have that energy and sometimes they’re just people watching. Introverts are the most reserved / observant. Extroverts and ambiverts have the power to pull the introverts into conversations so that they don’t feel alone.

EXPERT TIP 3: Follow-Up is on You. Business cards are like advertisements. Do not expect immediate sales from them. It is simply an opportunity to follow-up with an individual – not to sell them, but to continue the relationship building and conversation. People have to know, like and trust you before they buy. There’s an app called Full Contact which allows you to take a pic of the card and the information will get typed out for you and added to your contact list. LinkedIn used to have Card Munch, which isn’t in existence anymore, but Full Contact does the same thing. Send e-mails to people the very next day or you likely will never do it. You can create a “form” email – a simple copy / paste email that you can tweak per each individual. Invite them out to coffee or tea, etc.

[ 2 ] All about energy. 

Walk into a room with purpose. Your presence when you walk in a room says so much! The Art of Charm podcast had a great tip we love about walking into a room. They recommend putting a color stickie on door frames of your house. When you see that stickie – remind yourself to stand straight up, shoulders back with a genuine, warm smile. The goal is to look approachable and friendly. Don’t just walk through the door with energy – you have to learn how to keep that energy up. Resting _____ face is not what you want in a networking situation.

SUPER CONNECTOR TIP: How to warm up: talk to the first person you see – but only for 30 seconds. Doesn’t matter who they are. Don’t try to scan for someone that could be a potential client. Don’t immediately go to your friends – you’ll just stand there for 30 minutes talking to them. You have to warm up – like in sports. What do you say? It hardly matters. It simply matters that you say something. Talking to them for only 30 seconds means you get to quickly ascertain what people do. Take mental notes, then go back to the people you want to connect with. You can also even introduce people after working the room. Then have the 5 to 10 minute conversation to get more in-depth and connect with people better.

[ 3 ] Give, give, give.

Generosity is the key to networking – giving value. Everybody has something and everybody needs something. What’s your super power? Everybody has it. Find out what yours is. We guarantee you there’s somebody who needs that. It’s the thing that comes natural to you. Someone needs that. If you can be generous with that – you can build a relationship. People need information, contacts and resources. E-mail an article to someone. Stay in front of people – that’s easy to do. You have to give, give, give, give before you ask. Think about the psychology behind that. By the time you ask for something, they’re going to be nearly begging to help you because they know you helped them so much.

EXPERT TIP 4: Think of networking like gardening. Marketing in this way – in person – is like growing a garden. It’s about watering that plant, cultivating it and then getting the fruit at some point in the future. Relationships must be nurtured, therefore, your follow-up is critical.

[ 4 ] Be memorable

Never tell people your name until they ask for it. When you walk up to somebody, hold out your hand and tell them your name, 10 seconds later they won’t remember it. We all know that but we all do that as a habit. Influence by Robert Cialdini talks about how we do things like this out of habit so much. No one really remembers the interaction and it doesn’t stand out because we’re acting out of habit. Wait to give your name until after you’ve talked for several minutes – get their interest first.

EXPERT TIP 5: Name badges and repetition work. Name badges help people remember your name – it’s an easy and gracious visual reminder for those who meet you. Put it on your right side so when you shake hands with people it’s closer to their face for them to read. Additionally, repeat your name several times just naturally in conversation. Tell a story where you mention your name: “You know what Mary, the other day I was walking down the street and I saw my friend xyz and they said ‘Hi Andrea – how are you doing,’ and I said oh, I’m fine. And later I thought to myself, you know Andrea, you really ought to go back and talk to them….” etc.

EXPERT TIP 6: Channel your inner Fonzworth Bentley. Wear a certain color that is unmistakable – like a bright yellow dress or vivid red blazer. That can be easier for people to remember to when you follow up. Ray Abram wrote a blog post recently all about how Fonzworth Bentley was able to work a relationship with Diddy – all by using the way he dressed. Using your own super powers can make you memorable as well.

EXPERT TIP 7: Handwritten notes work. If someone’s very important to you and you really want to get in that door, try a handwritten note. People don’t do that anymore and it truly stands out in communications.


SHARE TO WIN: Those who shared this video by Friday, March 20, 2018 were eligible to win a copy of one of these two great books: The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris or Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi. Congrats to our winners – Parquita Nassau and Valencya Thompson! We appreciate you!

Recommended Books to Read:



Recommended App to Try: Full Contact – scans your business cards for you after a networking event and adds them to your database.




Andrea D. Smith, The ADS Agency
Marketing & Branding Tips for Entrepreneurs & Career Professionals
Website: you’re on it 🙂
Instagram: @theADSagency
Facebook: @theADSagency
Twitter: @theADSagency
LinkedIn: The ADS Agency

Ray Abram, ATL Networking Super Coach
Instagram: @ray_abram
Facebook: @raysuccesscoach
Twitter: @ray_abram
LinkedIn: Ray Abram