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Networking is never about us – it is always about the other person (and that’s why introverts and not extroverts often make the best networkers!)

The purpose of networking is getting the other person – in a short space of time – to get to ‘know, like and trust’ us enough that they’ll agree to a ‘cup of coffee’ after the event.

We make that happen by ensuring that we engage with them in as professional and as polite a way as possible.

It is vitally important that we take care to manage the emotional ‘state’ of the person we have just met. We want to appear open, engaged and respectful – and never forceful, pushy or ‘in their face’.

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With that in mind, asking people’s permission to engage is a lovely way to start the conversation. When we meet people for the first time we start the relationship on the best footing when we do so with their permission.

If you want to connect with anyone at an event then simply ask the following question ‘May I join you?’. If you’ve chosen the right person based on your understanding of group dynamics at work in the room then the answer will always be ‘yes’.

A simple request, followed by permission to connect is a powerful way to start any new relationship.