When you go to a networking event or meet someone new, how much time do you spend talking about yourself? Too much? And, be honest, if you’re on a networking mission, is your ultimate goal to make a sale?

There are more books than you can imagine on Amazon about networking secrets to get more business. From my experience, the best way for people to remember you and get more business is by showing that you care, and being genuine about it.

To ease into a conversation, get prospects to talk about themselves. Ask why they love their work or what their business goals are this year. Make it a point to pay attention and listen. Leave your agenda at the door.

At the end of the conversation, make a calendar date then and there. Invite them to coffee or a virtual coffee on Zoom to get to know each other and how you might support each other’s business goals. Give them your card, then connect on LinkedIn, so you can stay in touch.

In a few days, follow up. Sure, an email is fine, but also connect on social media. Start following them, then send a direct message. Tell your new contact how much you enjoyed their conversation and how you’d love to learn more about their work in case you ever run across someone who needs their services. Propose a time to meet in person, if that’s possible.

Before you meet, do some light research, don’t stalk them. This will help you learn more about their life, business, interests, and challenges. Armed with this intel, when you do meet in person or virtually, you can have a better idea of who their perfect client is and make a few suggestions of businesses who could use their services. Be open to also give free advice, not a full-blown consultation. And no pitching allowed.

Remember to make the conversation about them. If you’ve listened, paid attention, asked questions, offered advice and personal introductions, you’ve already proven your value. Use these networking secrets to get new business, then rinse and repeat.

I’m Robin Samora with the Fast Marketing Minute. Want more info on networking? Download my guide, How to Work a Room Without Being There. It’s at RobinSamora.com/WorkaRoom. Talk tomorrow!