Perhaps you are new to networking or maybe you are a seasoned pro; however my networking tips are valuable to everyone and remember to share yours in the comments below.
A few great ways for you to find networking opportunities in your area are Meetup.com and Events on FaceBook and of course on our BraveHeart Women home site. There are other groups like Power Core, BNI , Over 40 Females, and a personal favorite of mine is MasterNetwork.com (MasterNetwork is a membership network of learning-based, service-oriented entrepreneurs and business leaders) that you can join and they are one seat industry groups which means you lock out your competition.
My 10 tips!!
1.Prepare yourself for your meeting. Clear your energy, dance, listen to upbeat music or a favorite speaker, stretch, get your body ready.
2.Practice your 1 min speech. Be ok with being nervous however be authentic. 1 min is abut 100 words per minute, some groups have a 30 sec limit to introduce your business so also come prepared with a condensed version of your speech.
3.Wear a name tag. If you have business cards bring them, paper, pen or your tablet to take notes.
( I use Evernote for business cards and notes so all business cards/notes are stored on my phone).
4. Leave on time. Google maps will give you a good estimate of your arrival time.
5. Arrive early (or at least on time). Introduce yourself to the organizer, offer to assist if you see them trying to set up chairs etc.
6.Be ready to greet people as they come in. Do not play on your phone or sit texting, show interest in the people who are joining this meeting, act like a host. Have a goal in mind of the number of people that you will like to connect with.
7. Shake hands (or hug if its a BraveHeart Women meeting). Introduce yourself and ask the person their name and interesting questions, i.e. so where else do you normally network? Or what do you like best about what you do? Or what got you started in your line of business? Try not to say “Well what do you do”. Listen and ask questions be interested give the person your full attention, use their name. Remember we have two ears and one mouth so use them proportionately. After you’ve learned what another person does, tell them what you do. Be specific but brief. Don’t assume they know your business. Spend no more that 5-10 min with each person depending on the venue.
8. At the general meeting be prepared to introduce your business, if the speeches are being timed do not keep speaking after your time is up simply end your sentence and graciously sit down.
9. Take notes during the meeting, write anything that you think may be useful in remembering each person more clearly. This will allow for a more personal follow up with each contact.
10. Write (or email) a note or give a call to each person you’ve meet. Be sure to fulfill any promises you’ve made. The follow up is the most important.