Most of us already have the skills we need to be a successful business networker. We just need to learn which order to use them in and when to apply them.


Here's a list of handy tips just for you:

  1. Prior to attending the event, run through the attendees list.
  2. Pick out two or three people that are of real interest to you or your business niche. You may only get to meet one of these people.
  3. Check them out on line through Linkedin and Facebook and from those sites you'll be able to find their websites or blogs. This gives you a clear background and some ideas of what to talk about when you get to meet them face to face.
  4. You may want to send them an email or other social media message letting them know that you are attending the same event and that you'd like to meet up there. In this way you're already breaking the ice and making it easier for that first meeting to flow well.
  5. Before you actually speak to them, ask yourself how you can best relate to the person you are approaching and not what you can get out of the situation.
  6. This is not a hard sell! When the opportunity presents itself, introduce yourself in a friendly manner and smile! "Hello, I'm Cathy Dunbabin from Opendoorz. How lovely to meet you in person."
  7. Remember that people love to talk about themselves and their line of work so use that as an opening. The research you've done online earlier should help.
  8. Listen attentively. Don't let your eyes roam all over the room while your new contact is talking! Pay attention and let them have the floor. Interject with "That sounds interesting" "how did you get into that?" "I'd like to hear more about that."
  9. Assimilate the information you are getting and look for commonality eg: you both like golf, both have children aged 4, both live in Oxford. Acknowledge that commonality by politely interjecting eg: "Oh, it's been ages since I last played golf."
  10. Offer something personal in return. This is a personal disclosure that isn't obvious eg: you're a ball room dancer, you play in a rock band, you volunteer every weekend at an old persons home. When you give of yourself, people respond warmly.
  11. Be enthusiastic. Enthusiasm is infectious and people remember you for it.
  12. Remember that this is an initial introduction, not a hard sell!
  13. Keep it short at the first contact. You can always arrange to meet again on a one to one.
  14. Determine if you want to meet again. Let them know if you do.
  15. Remember a friendly close eg: "It's been great meeting you. I'd like to stay in touch. Here's my card." (Which should prompt them to hand over theirs if they haven't already)

Last thought. Have a destination in mind. There's nothing worse than not knowing where to head to when you've just said goodbye. If you don't have another contact to greet, take a break and head for the rest rooms confidently!


Cathy Dunbabin is the founder of Opendoorz Networking in Oxford, United Kingdom. After many years as a networking facilitator Cathy has created a unique opportunity for business networkers in the UK. If you're a serious networker looking to raise your game and make new quality connections that will bring you genuine new business opportunities, then Opendoorz is what you've been looking for.


Opendoorz challenges the tired format established by many networking groups. Its success is founded on the quality and calibre of the membership, the experience and passion of its directors and the unique blend of meeting content.

Contact Cathy at or email her directly at