Here are my tips to make solid business connections that truly are genuine.
First, don't slouch but don't stand up too tall. Believe it or not, standing too tall or posed can make someone look snooty or unapproachable- and you don't want that. So, be relaxed when meeting new people. Don't be overly formal.
Next, always tilt your head forward and smile. Some people are intimated by those in power. They clam up and the lack of smile sends the wrong message. Tilting your head forward with a nice smile helps put you and the person you are meeting in a relaxed state. Also, patting someone on their right shoulder works. For women this can be a challenge. We women always want to be friendly but not misread as coming on to someone. So, use this tip if you feel it is appropriate and will not lead to any misunderstandings.
Lastly, don't pitch yourself- at least not right away. Ask questions (not too personal) about the person you are networking with. Be honest with your answers and your interest. People LOVE to talk about themselves, so let them! They will associate you as a great conversationalist even though you, in fact, said very little. This trick is used by some of the best sales people in the business. Ask questions, collect information, stay interested, and then follow up with a thank-you note that pulls something personal from the conversation!
I hope this networking advice has helped you. Do you have networking tricks? Send them in or message me on Twitter!