Know your goals, know your pitch find your zen!
When you go into a networking event, you need to have a purpose. If you don't have a set goal, you're not only wasting your time, but the time of the people you're talking to.
Dress the part respect your honor
Always look like you care about being where you being where you are. Respect your position, the way you dress should declare why people should care about you. Sensei Bailey says he dresses for startups, that is the clothes that he wears shouts that he is here to fight for the honor of startups.
Know your opponent
Before you go into that networking event, come up with a plan of attack. Look at who is attending. Like the crouching tiger, you must stalk your potential partner through the internet see what they post about, what they like, who they work for, what they are looking for. Align your pitch to their interests and then strike as quick as a cobra.
Strike swiftly! Show no fear!
Try keeping your pitch to 30 seconds. And whatever you do, don't show any hesitation don't show any fear. People smell fear. Present yourself as a peer to the person you want to approach. Like a samurai who takes pride in the masters that trained him, establish your credibility early on and talk about who your company has talked to and who you represent. Show yourself the better, more wisened master of the art of networking.
Keep their Chi in mind Find a balance
Make sure to always respect the chi, the energy, of the person you're talking to. Don't just drive straight into your pitch. Acknowledge them as a person and talk about their interests. Get them to engage with your chi. Once your energies are aligned with each other you can make an effective pitch. Remember to make an offer that will benefit them before you make an ask. It's all about finding balance and you need to work with the other person to find that balance.
Strike first! Stay in control
If you're in the middle of a pitch and you see someone lurking for a surprise attack, that interloper should only get involved because you let him get involved. Catch them off guard by acknolweding their presence and bring them into conversation. Not only will it show them that you are the true master, but the person you're pitching to will be most impressed with your skills.
Make them remember you strike an impressive blow
No matter what, always walk away with contact info. End the conversation with summarizing the key points of value with what is actually being executed. Follow up with them via email within 24 hours.
Armed with these pieces of zen, you can now start networking with masterful skill and grace.