Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Making Holiday Parties Work for You

This week ushers in the holiday party season. From company parties to industry parties, even personal parties, you'll probably be spending more time than you care to, well, partying. Sales trainer Mark Hunter has some networking tips to help you put that time to good use.

--When you arrive, avoid gravitating to people you know. You should initially thank the host and then immediately find someone new to introduce yourself to.

--Keep your business cards in the breast pocket of your coat, a shirt pocket, or in an outside pocket of your purse so they are easy to access and in good condition.

--When giving a person your card, personalize it by hand-writing your cell number on it. This will cause the recipient to feel that they are receiving something special.

--After you meet someone for the first time, use the back of their business card to jot a note about something you learned from the conversation and the date and place you met them. Recording the information will give you something to talk to them about the next time you see them.

--Always keep one hand free to allow yourself to shake hands with people - meaning you shouldn't eat and drink at the same time.

--Initiate conversation with someone who is standing by themselves. They'll be happy to have someone to talk to them and, as a result, will many times open up with valuable information.

And finally, "When you meet someone for the first time, you have 48 hours to follow up with them before they will completely forget about meeting you," says Hunter. Keep these expert tips in mind as you mingle your way through this holiday party season - and you'll reap the rewards!

Mark Hunter, The Sales Hunter, provides sales training based on Consultative Selling techniques. Check out his skills resources at www.TheSalesHunter.com
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