Strategies: Don't get barbecue sauce on your business card

•Arrange to follow up. Once you've established rapport with a business prospect, it may be comfortable to discuss a modest amount of business with them. After all, they're going to ask you what you do, and you'll have your elevator pitch handy — a quick description of the nature of your business. But don't go overboard. This is not the time for a sales pitch. Instead, if they're interested, arrange to follow up with them another time.

•Behave yourself. If a client invites you to a party, remember, it's really a business event for you. Sure, you can have a beer or glass of wine, but don't get drunk. After all, you don't want their lasting impression to be of you doing cannonballs in the deep end of the pool, shouting, "Geronimo!"

Rhonda Abrams is president of The Planning Shop, publisher of books for entrepreneurs. Their newest is Finding an Angel Investor In A Day. Register for Rhonda's free business planning newsletter at www.PlanningShop.com. For an index of her columns, click here. Copyright Rhonda Abrams 2008.

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