Next time you have an opportunity to network in person, arrive early, not late. This seems obvious, but some people think it is better to take a casual approach and show up after the event or gathering is already well underway.
When you arrive early, you can have conversations with people before they are too engaged with others or already participating in the the activities of the event. Arriving after an event starts often means you will awkwardly break in on conversations that have already been established.
There are other benefits to arriving early as well, especially for the shy person or someone who does not like to network. Yes, this runs counter to the norm, but by arriving early, you’re able to join in with other people who arrive early. The typical cliques that can develop at these gatherings will not have emerged yet, and you’ll be able to meet others in a much more relaxed and comfortable manner.
When you are in sales, even though the actual “selling” may take a break every now and then, your sales motivation does not. Be the type of salesperson who is positive and grasps every opportunity to learn and to talk to new people. Always be networking. Never arrive late.