So what is the 12x12x12 rule?

In the second edition of our book “Networking like a Pro” I share the 12x12x12 rule and how it makes networking more effective!

1) How do you look from 12 feet away?


Are you prepared, have you dressed appropriately for the event you are attending? Do you have what you need for the event? Preparing in advance by researching the dress code for the event, knowing what time to turn up and what you need to bring with you can make you much more comfortable about walking into a room. You will be surprised how many people fall short in the fundamental area of appearance. Do not go casual. Instead, consider wearing a good suit or nice outfit.

2) How do you come across from 12 inches away?


Do you still look as prepared? Do you understand the culture of the event you are attending? Are your clothes clean, is your breath fresh? This may not seem important however you don’t want to be the one remembered for not ironing your shirt or having bad breath! When it comes to forming networking relationships, most of the important information is communicated through nonverbal cues. Remember to smile when meeting someone for the first time.


When meeting someone for the first time, a lot can be said about how much your attitude can impact the first impression. Having a positive attitude is one of the most important characteristics of a great networker. So make sure that when you are talking to others, you have a positive, upbeat attitude. Showing others that you are having a good time will send the right message.


Can you easily find your business cards? Make sure you look professional at all times, have your business cards to hand when you need them and ensure you know when is the best time to hand over your cards. Just make sure that you have a system for keeping your cards separate from the cards you receive from others at the event.

3) What are the first 12 words out of your mouth?


This is the most important point. When someone asks you what you do, make sure you are ready with a response that is memorable. Have you thought about what you are going to say to someone else at a networking event because the worst time to think about what you want to say is when you are saying it? Think about concise ways you can get your points across…… what you want to say about your business, your target market, the benefits of your product or service etc. Think about examples of projects you are working on or stories about how you helped clients. Be confident and speak with conviction. Say something that promotes curiosity and engagement without sounding over-rehearsed or contrived. Those 12 words are designed to get people’s attention.

Perception is reality when it comes to meeting people for the first time. So next time you are going to a networking event, hold yourself accountable to follow the 12x12x12 rule. You will go a long way toward creating the right impression. Find out more about this topic in my book, “Networking Like a Pro: Turning Contacts into Connections – Second Edition“. Please go to my website at https://ivanmisner.com/books/ to learn how to purchase any of my books.

5 thoughts on “So what is the 12x12x12 rule?

  1. “Say something that promotes curiosity and engagement without sounding over-rehearsed or contrived. Those 12 words are designed to get people’s attention.”

    As a BNI Member I’d love to know the first 12 things you say to get people curious…

  2. Great sharing and will invite 12 x 12 x 12 RPs to learn the 12 x 12 x 12 Rules to become Pro in Networking

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