Nine Plus one Networking Ideas

September 8th, 2016 by Patricia Jehle Leave a reply »
Fun networking!

Fun networking!

Nine Networking Ideas, plus one

Everyone I know seems to get a little worried when they enter a room full of strangers. Even Amy Cuddy tweeted that she’s still working on it! (“Yes, I still feel socially anxious. I’m at a reception with hundreds of strangers, too nervous to introduce myself. Still working on it!“)—I just had a conversation about the topic with a client and here’s a summary of my take on the subject, nine ideas PLUS a question, and a tenth idea:

Before

Before you go, do three things:

Choose
Choose something that really interests you and that you think you will find people with whom you can meet in a meaningful way. I would like book launches (of book topics I am interested in) and TEDtalks, for example. You would also find me at some art exhibit opening. What interests you? What kind of person interests you?

Look
Once you have chosen a venue you should do a little research. Who is going? What is the program for the event? Then, if you do this, post it on your social media. For example, I went to the Pink Ribbon Walk last Sunday and remembered to post it on FB… I will do so on Twitter, now because I forgot to before hand.

Expect
Visualize yourself there having a good time. Prepare by setting your expectations realistically. How many people will you think you can manage really meeting in a meaningful way at this event? One? Two? Three? Set your limits (time and what you will do) and make sure you follow them. Know when you plan to leave and stick to your plans. You will be happier if you do this.

During

During your time there do three more things:

Pose
When you arrive (or shortly before you leave home) do the Amy Cuddy (à la book Presence) Wonder Woman Pose. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and hands on hips. Stand and smile at yourself- for a good three minutes. A single-person bathroom works, so does doing it at home. But do it. It is research-proven that this ill help you feel confident about yourself. Also, if you are really interested in this practice, email me, and/or read the book.

Practice
Treat each networking event as a learning experience, not a performance. That means you are “just practicing”, “just learning”. If you do that combined with the next step, you will enjoy yourself and be able to look at these events as more and more fun.

Enjoy and Be
Most of the people organizing the events enjoy them or they would not do them. Remember that they try and make it enjoyable for you, the participant. Find someone you seem to “click” with, do what you enjoy. Relax and …

Be yourself.
When you are yourself you will find meaningful new relationships at the event. AND that’s the real goal: to start a new relationship with someone that seems to click with you. The point is not to “get as many business contacts as you can”, but to be yourself with other people who you may enjoy doing work with in the future (or maybe not work with at all). These people are people you try and serve some how, a kind of “pay it forward”, and introduce them to your network kind of thing. It’s all about relationship. So you can be yourself and relax.

After

When the event is over do three more things:

Update
Your contact lists as soon as possible- don’t keep those business cards collecting dust in the drawer, enter the information into your electronic contact list (and remember to make sure you yourself are entered into it, as well, to send and to use).

Email
For those whom you want to keep in touch with, but don’t have any specific plan, email them and thank them for talking with you. Leave it open for meeting, or suggest something if you like.

Call
For those who you set up a meeting, call and confirm. You can email, too, of course, but a call is more personal. Remember, these are the people with whom you hope to start a business relationship or with whom you might partner in some way in the future. They are also people you enjoy.

Remember that follow-up is important for relationship, as well as for your business.

What’s next?

Practice makes better
I don’t think one ever gets perfect at this, but you do get better and hopefully learn to really enjoy your networking time. Keep practicing, keep learning, and set a goal of – one? or two? networking events a month to attend.

One of the best articles I have found on this topic is from the Entrepreneur: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/245995

Enjoy your networking, and should you want to visit my site: www.jehle-coaching.com
Or join my group on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/7041402

Have a great rest of the week!
Patricia Jehle
patricia@jehle-coaching.com

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