We hear it over and over, the holidays are a slow time of year for
doing business. Don’t you believe it! With all the holiday
parties, events, and family visits, the holiday season provides
some of the best networking opportunities of the entire year.
To help you make the most of your holiday season, The Networking
Gurus share their Twelve Tips for Holiday Networking:
1. Say Yes! to all those Holiday Parties and Events
Well, maybe not to everything, but if you’re looking to fill your
pipeline with new people, you’ll meet them at everything from the
neighborhood open house to the office party, as well as those
special holiday business networking events. Attending holiday
events is also a good way to follow-up with the people you already
know, such as your clients, business acquaintances, associates,
referral partners, and friends and family.
2. Host a Holiday Party
Have an open house at your home, or host a party at a bar or
restaurant. This is a great way to reach out and reconnect with
people in your network.
3. Send out those Holiday Greetings
This is a perfect time of year to send cards, letters, emails, and
newsletters. It lets people in your network know you are thinking
about them. And while you’re at it, you can send them to the
people you’ve just met at all those holiday parties you’ve been
4. Be prepared for each event you attend
Be ready to clearly and concisely tell people what you do and who
you do it for, have a prepared introduction that rolls off your
tongue. And don’t forget your business cards! And while you’re
at it, bring your calendar and a pen so you can schedule follow-up
meetings in the moment.
5. Ask for introductions
Know who you want to meet and don’t be afraid to ask your friends,
relatives, and old and new acquaintances for introductions.
6. Prepare some questions to get the conversation going
“How do you know the host/hostess?”
“Who do you know at this event?”
“What has been the highlight of your year?”
“How’s the family?”
“What plans do you have for next year?”
“How was business this year?”
“What kinds of clients are you looking for these days?”
(Be prepared to answer these questions as well!)
7. Talk about something other than business
In building relationships, which is what networking is all about,
you want to get to know people on a personal level, as well as a
professional level. Take advantage of the holidays to relax and
socialize and get to know people a little better.
8. Focus on other people
Listen at least as much as you talk. It’s better to err on the
side of listening too much rather than talking too much about
yourself and your business.
9. Dress appropriately
What kind of event is it? A dressy holiday party? An office
party? A happy hour or open house? Whether it’s dress up or
casual, make sure you look professional.
10. Send the host or hostess a thank you note
Send a hand-written personal thank you note that lets them know
what a wonderful time you had.
11. Call people
You can make a more personal connection with people by calling them
at the holidays. This works not just with friends and family but
with your best business connections as well.
12. Have fun, but don’t eat or drink too much
It’s the holidays, so relax and enjoy yourself. It’s fine to have
a good time, but you don’t need to be the life of the party. Act
like a professional at all times.