Ed Hunter: How to Network Like a Champ

Along with the odd laugh, regular readers of my articles will know there’s an educational offering, if your ear’s to the ground.

Today’s no different.

See, I’ve been to my fair share of networking events. And I’ve rocked every one of ‘em.

But whether you’re new to this game or been meeting people since the days of rolodex, there’s always something to learn.

And let’s be honest, if someone with a man’s body and a wolf’s head can win friends and influence people, that’s someone you wanna listen to.

So settle down and give me just three minutes of your time to explain how to network like a champ.

We begin with your attire…

Remember: You’re here for a good time, not a long time.

And no one’s going to remember your frankly mediocre personality, if you wear your normal tiresome getup.

Go for impact clothing.

However you interpret that will be right.

Men, mankinis whilst unflattering for the smaller gent, will have people laughing on impact.

Ladies, anything that shows off your assets will mean you’re front and centre of promotional material, to really double down on ROI.

When you arrive…

There’s no pissing around here, head straight to the bar.

If your chosen event is classy, they’ll have complimentary Champagne on entry. If they’re cheap, it’ll be Prosecco.

If they lack imagination and this is the last chance of keeping their failing business afloat, it’s probably beers in a bucket.

In lieu of a bar, find the hors d’oeuvres geezer and follow him around.

Top Tip: A whiskey fuelled hip flask makes loathsome queues a thing of the past and can spice up seminars and key note speeches, if used generously.

The dreaded introduction…

Your only real task at these things is to speak to people. And despite your best intentions, most people will smell the recruitment on you from a mile away.

Your eyes will naturally wander over to the other loners in the room. Avoid these people like the plague. They’re also recruiters and you’ll end up having to lie about what you’ve billed this year.

See if you can spot a popular kid, knee-deep in a meaty conversation. Then, ride their coat tails to the top.

Seamlessly join in by laughing at the latest mediocre observation. If you’re struggling for an opener, joke about them having enough chairs.

BAM! Allies.

NB. The good looking people normally stick together. If you are one, kudos to you.

If your face is more suited to phone calls, bow out and find a group more fitting of your level.

Ed Hunter Networking

The elevator pitch…

It’s absolutely crucial to have your lies, fabrications and exaggerated backstory memorised before attendance.

You’ll only have about 6 seconds to impress any future comrades. And remember, as soon as everyone finds out you’re a recruiter, they’ll run the rule over your wild claims.

So choose a story that’s impressive, but not unbelievable.

That means no claims about overcoming smallpox to win the olympics; growing up in a litter bin and still acing your Degree, or single-handedly rowing the Atlantic.

You’re trying to win friends, not the X-Factor.

And you’ve always got your “trials for West Ham” story to fall back on.

The powder room…

Whilst communal toilets tend to be crowded and messy, other floors are often a ghost town. If you’ve met the love of your life over your 13th ‘Welcome Champers’ a little searching pays dividends.

Before the inevitable soul searching the day after, when you wake up in a tatty semi-detached in Wigan, and your new son Kyle asks if you can go swimming.

Leave a lasting legacy…

Remember, friends made under the influence, often turn out weird in real life.

Give out your real phone number to clients, but for the love of God make sure they’re hiring managers and not bored creeps.

LinkedIn profile exchanges with candidates is personal enough to gain plaudits, but distant enough to ghost.

Give a fake phone number to anyone else.

In fact, here’s a Top Tip.

If you exchange numbers with your phone out, people call to check. If you just give them a card, they don’t.

So here’s something I do. I stay late in the office the day before and show everyone how committed I am.

Then I swipe 30 business cards of my most hated colleague.

And anyone I meet the next day, I can fob off, without them ever knowing. It’s a seamless system.

One for the vloggers…

This is really important so if you’ve ever put a video of yourself on LinkedIn, please pay attention…

If you’re thinking about vlogging an event to your dedicated followers, please let the organisers know in advance so they can arrange for snipers on the roof.

If you feel impulsive, a sign on the back of your jacket will alert fellow networkers of your inflated self worth, saving the need to punch you in the face just as you ‘go live’.


 Wow!

You’ve done it. You’ve mastered networking events.

You’ll have a gold star on the star chart in no time.