Working at networking

This month my focus is on marketing in all forms.

Networking is a tool that definitely works. It’s also hard work, but it doesn’t have to be.

I don’t know about you, but I hate “networking.” So, for me, it’s a chore, but a necessary one.

Today I went to a local networking event and met a few people. It was okay. We mixed and mingled, passed out cards, and heard (and threw) our best sales pitches.

What I don’t like is the somewhat forced feeling. We all know we’re there to meet each other, so we grit our teeth and attempt to fight past our fear of talking to complete strangers.

It’s like going to a party and forcing yourself to ask someone to dance.

And I’m a very social person, actually (yes, even though I dwell in the cyber world, I’m quite good at speaking in public and the like). I can only imagine how it must feel to others.

My advice for low-stress networking:

Hold a few of your business cards (in your hand, at the ready), memorize your elevator speech, and approach people who have a display table. You won’t feel like you’re wandering around a party looking for a suitable dance partner. It’s more like going to the punch bowl. Someone at the table will strike up a conversation. Just don’t forget to give them your card.

When you get home, write down the name of the event and the date on the back of the cards you receive. If you have time at the event itself, scribble on the card a little about the person you just met. 

Call or email everyone you met within a couple of days. Even just a quick, “It was nice meeting you yesterday. I look forward to seeing you at the next event.” Be sure to put your company and web address in the signature line

Have you gone to networking events? How did it work for you?

One Response to “Working at networking”

  1. Greg P says:

    Excellent idea, writing the notes on the person’s business card. I used it and it allowed me to relax and know that I didn’t have to memorize everyone’s info to remember them.

    Thanks Theda,

    Greg

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