By Laura Vestanen—Here’s s summary of best business practices when attending any networking events.

Do’s and Don’ts for Attending Networking Events.

1. Take at least 3 dozen business cards with you each time.

2. Rehearse your “what I do” speech. Get it down to 30 seconds. Rehearse a second one that is 60 seconds long. Make it very clear what you do and why they should hire YOU. This is my 30-second speech. I talk fast.

  • I am Laura Vestanen, owner of Professional Notary. I am a mobile notary. I travel to your workplace, home, or medical facility to do notarizations.

    You’re wondering why you should call me instead of going to a local bank. The main reason is that the banks no longer offer notary services. Notarizations take time away from their staff. Plus they don’t like to pay for the employee-notaries’ liability insurance for notarizing documents not created by the bank.

    Another reason you should call me is that I have been a notary for ten years in two states. Before becoming a full-time mobile notary, I spent 10 years as the firm manager for a law firm specializing in business, real estate, and elder law. I know my stuff.

    I notarize permission slips for children traveling abroad while with only one parent or the grandparents, business documents, immigration documents, home loans, Wills, Powers of Attorneys, and lots more.

    Please allow me to give you my business card and this red card I had printed for your emergency contact information. I hope you will fill out the red card and put it in your wallet near your health insurance card.

    Thank you for listening.

3. Wear a business-style jacket or blazer. It need not be expensive but it should be navy, gray, or black. Clothing and grooming should be very tidy. If you look sloppy, people will think your work is sloppy. No skirts above the kneecap. Beard should be shaped and trimmed. Other attendees may be dressed more casually. Not you – you are a professional. Wear very little perfume or after-shave. Many people are allergic to scent.

4. Gather business cards from people. Gather cards from everyone – including people you know you won’t be doing business with directly. After the event, write the date and name of group so you will know later how you met the person. Enter the contact data into your computer when you get the chance.

5. Listen – don’t just talk. If you don’t genuinely listen, you will be labeled a “used car salesman” type of person and you will be avoided. Make referrals, connecting people as you can. The person getting the referral will love you.

6. Never chew gum. If you worry about your breath, use mints.

7. Never smoke inside the building or just before going into the building. You may not smell it on your clothes but others will. They will avoid you.

8. Make good on promises. If you tell someone at a mixer that you will email them information or a contact, follow through within two days.