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​Top tips for effective networking from Íñigo Montoya

December 28, 2018

“Hello. My name is Íñigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”

It’s the holiday season, the week for watching cult movies and eating chocolate. It’s also the week for pondering how to improve your business skills in 2019.

You may recognize the above quote from 80’s flick The Princess Bride repeated throughout the film by Íñigo Montoya (or you might have thought the blog page was hacked).

This iconic sentence was revived recently and made into a meme. According to Montoya, the four steps to triumph in any social interaction are:

  • Polite greeting.
  • Name.
  • Relevant personal link.
  • Manage expectations.

Making an impression is an art that’s hard to master. Montoya has a point but he’s not the smoothest diplomat. Here are some more tips to help you shine and make the most of your business and personal interactions.

  • Mind your body language - The general belief is that 55% of communication is non-verbal so make sure you adopt a relaxed and open posture. Avoid crossing arms and legs and remember - as PRs say to their clients facing a scandal - “teeth, teeth, teeth.” An authentic smile is your business card.
  • Be culturally sensitive - If you are traveling to another country or mingling with people from all over the world, learn basic local etiquette. You want to make sure you respect personal space, know if you need to kiss people one, two, three or even four times, shake hands or bow.
  • Listen intently -  Avoid overwhelming the other person with your pitch and the temptation to interrupt conversation to add your anecdotes unless you’re certain the other person has finished. Be genuinely interested in your new acquaintance and listen. Be open-minded and stay focused.
  • Mirror - A great way to make someone else comfortable is to subtly mirror their body language and even their words. You will make them comfortable and they will be sure you have understood. When we feel we’ve been truly heard, we’re putty in anyone’s hands.
  • Follow up - If your conversation went well and you agree to send something or even if you just exchange contact details, follow up as soon as possible, even if it’s just to say how great it was to meet them.

These tips will make you unforgettable but if you meet anyone with six fingers disregard them and defend your honor.

Do you have networking tips of your own? Let us know. 


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