The Art of Networking: The first 3 seconds when entering a room

Prologue: This post may not connect to folks who are born networkers, aka extroverts. Meet an introvert, who talks less, then you’d know how difficult it is to break the ice, forget exchanging cards.

I remember the days when I was a sissy in networking, utter failure. I would come back from events, meetings, gatherings with not much accomplished, maybe meeting an equally gullible 1-2 people.

Then someone (Don’t remember who or maybe I read in a book) educated me about the 3-second rule when entering a gathering. The 3-second rule is simple:

Connect with someone in the first 3-seconds of entering a gathering or a crowd or a room.

Why the first 3-seconds are important?

It’s psychological. The more you delay making the first contact, the harder it becomes. The moment you overcome the first contact, more of them would follow easily.

This rule has done wonders for me in networking even during the days when I was just thinking of starting up and tried penetrating into a room full of “been-there-done-it” folks.

Pro Version: I use a slightly advanced version of this 3-second rule now-a-days. I call it a ridiculously named, “Deep-6-second” rule. Instead, of 3 seconds, I give 6-seconds and try to move as deep into the crowd as possible and make the contact as soon as the time expires. Why? Most people whom I wanna connect to are not near the door, but they are nearer to the center of the room.

Networking and connecting with people is important and it’s an art you keep honing.


  • Abhishek Mathur

    How many of these 3/6-second networked individuals are you still in touch with ?

    • Many of them! A lot of these also mature into longer relationships over a period of time and many subsequent meetings. As a “seeker” you have to keep popping your head to the same person a few times, before it registers. 

  • Mukund

    you had me at hello? Is that the gist of this?

    • This is the gist of walking up to you before saying “Hello” 🙂

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  • Ravina Malik

    And how do you keep in touch with such individuals?Make sure the next time you meet them you build on the earlier meeting ?