Professional networking is an important component of business success. It introduces you to fellow entrepreneurs and potential clients, increases your profile within the community, and serves as a crucial first step in generating sales and boosting revenue. If you're looking for a way to make more connections within your industry, use the following tips to help you get the most out of a business networking event.


Come up with an elevator pitch.

An elevator pitch is a pithy way to sell yourself and your business. It is a quick, succinct explanation of what you do and what you offer. Make a list of three or four factors that you think are important for others to know about your business, like its name, location, and primary products or services. Memorize these points and be ready to discuss them with those you encounter at networking events. However, try not to come off as overly rehearsed, as this can feel inauthentic. Keep the pitch casual and conversational but professional.

Make a personal connection.

Many business relationships start with a personal connection. When first meeting someone, immediately launching into the elevator pitch can feel aggressive. However, when you find a point or two that you both have in common, it will get the conversation started in a more natural way, providing a foundation on which to build. Discuss hobbies or interests, but avoid talking about politics, religion, and other more sensitive topics. 


Be shy.

Professional Networking

For most people, professional networking is a skill to be learned, and it can be uncomfortable or overwhelming when attending your first event. Even the most gifted marketers and salespeople require training and experience, so don't be discouraged if you feel a bit awkward at first. 

However, do not be shy. You want to walk up to new people, introduce yourself, and start a conversation. You don't need to be overly bubbly or effusive, and there's no need to meet every person in the room. Aim to talk to at least a few new individuals at each event.

Take too long to follow up.

A day or two after the event, get in touch with those you've met. A simple email is often the most effective method of reaching out to new contacts. Let the person know that you enjoyed meeting them, and follow up on at least one of the points you discussed at the event. This opens the door for further communication and, hopefully, a new business relationship.


ACA Business Club St. Louis offers professional networking opportunities for entrepreneurs throughout Chesterfield, MO, and the surrounding areas. For over a century, this invitation-only, private club has been providing individuals with training and development services designed to take their businesses to the next level. They host coffee socials, networking events, and monthly happy hours for members and their guests. Call (314) 628-0690 to speak with a representative, and visit the website to learn how they can help you on the road to success.