My Top Nine Networking Venture Tips!
Networking is the “BIG To Do” these days! In fact, I recently had the honor of meeting the Mayor of the City of Charlotte, Jennifer Roberts while I was networking as an ambassador for SCORE at the Breakfast Conversations 2017 at Extravaganza Depot. While this might seem intimidating, Jennifer was gracious, open, and exciting! We exchanged contact information. We shared about our work and I now consider her an acquaintance. She even told me I was “free to contact her if I needed anything.”
If the mayor of our very robust, growing city is out networking, don’t you think you need to be too?
Organizations offer a wide variety of networking events to choose from:
- After Work Wine Tastings
- Before Work Mingles
- One-on-One Sessions
- Weekend Events
- Coffee Meet-Ups,
- And Round Table Discussion
The “BIG” question is: “How do I know which is the best for me?”
The great news is the choosing is yours!
Consider my My Top Nine Networking Venture Tips!
- Determine to try all the event types.
Try all the different event types at least once so you will know first-hand the value. Ask yourself:
Which venue do I enjoy the most?
Which was most beneficial to my business?
And, perhaps most importantly, Which events did I learn something new? Go with a friend, a business partner, or one of your clients or go it alone!
- SMILE, RELAX and have FUN at the event!
No one likes to talk to a Debbie-Downer or a dull and boring person.
(If you work in a company, you get that every day at your workplace☺!)
Enthusiasm is a magnet! Bring a warm smile, a firm handshake, and a sense of humor.
Remember, the people you meet do not know you and you don’t know them. You are all in the same boat! If you are nervous, odds are the person you are talking to is nervous as well. I find transparency very authentic. Perhaps, you could shake their hand and say, I’ve never been here before. Find common ground. Share that you are never sure what’s going to happen at these events, but you’re glad you’ve met someone who is approachable. I bet they’ll reciprocate sentiment and you’ll both relax!
Life is too short to not to have fun. The team that put the event together that you are attending went to a lot of trouble. Find the hosts or the leadership and offer them some celebratory words. Show some gratitude for the opportunity they have provided. Giving thanks is serious fun!
- Be a good listener.
Remember, you have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Listen twice as much as you talk! You can learn a lot about a person just by listening. Pick up on their “cues.” If you listen actively, you will hear about individual’s needs. For instance, if you own an organizing business and the person says, “My weekdays are chaotic! My hands are full,” you are poised to share your services!
- People like to talk about themselves, so let them.
Be patient. Wait for them to pause. After they have told you everything about themselves, they will eventually ask you,”What kind of business do you have?” This is where your 30 second elevator speech comes in handy.
Do you have an elevator speech prepared and practiced?
If not, see my blog on how to prepare your elevator speech. Only give them a bit of information at first, and wait. Trust me. They will ask for more. It’s like dangling the carrot! And curiosity kills the cat!
- Always have your business cards on hand.
Figure out how you will carry your cards ahead of time.I hate carrying a purse, so I stick my business cards in my back pocket. When the time is right, I bring one out! Recently, I went to a networking event and could not believe the number of networkers who did not have their business cards. This could be a one-time opportunity to reach that one person.
Don’t forget your business cards.
If you do not have a business card, I can help you accomplish this task. Email me at: Robbin@theventurecoach.com
- Have the attitude of making friends, not just seeking business partners.
Building relationships is very valuable in your business. A person who genuinely can picture you as their friend, will most likely trust in you and your business. Relationships go a long way!
- Don’t be intimated by other’s success.
If you are a new entrepreneur, don’t be ashamed to tell it. Seasoned entrepreneurs will love to give you advice. So pick their brain and learn as much as you can from them.
- Take notes.
Gather names, emails, and business cards. Within the next day or two, reach out to those that you connected with by sending them a quick email.
Quick notes and acknowledgements speak volumes. People remember kindness.
Ask if you can connect with them on Facebook or Linked-in. Let them know how much you enjoyed hearing about their business and how much you would appreciate any referrals they can give you.
- Last but not least. Pat yourself on the back!
After a networking event, you can celebrate that you’ve accomplished a hurdle and stepped out of your box.
Leave a comment below about your networking success!
I will be so proud of you!
I’m off to my next networking venture!
You can find more about how to work ON your business, instead of IN your business by joining the online Venture Club at www.theventurecoach.com.