I have learned in my two years of attending the WEConnect/Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) conference that it’s easy to spot those who have done a lot of networking and handshaking and those who have not.
There is always the lure of landing that big contract with that big corporation that will propel your business to another level. However, these opportunities evolve from networking and building relationships.
- It starts with a handshake, a smile and the ability to introduce yourself with confidence.
Confidence shows in how you carry yourself and the ease with which you can talk about your business in a way that is relevant to the listener. If you find this challenging, you need to do more networking. Don’t be scared off. Instead embrace the challenge to improve.
- It starts with succinctly articulating your business’s unique value proposition.
Knowing your business’s unique value proposition is one thing; being able to articulate it, off-the-cuff, when the moments present themselves is quite another. Do you know how your business is different from every other one in that same industry…without taking five or more minutes of the listener’s time to explain it?
- It starts with showing a genuine interest in others.
When I teach marketing sessions at the Women’s Enterprise Centre of Manitoba, I often have participants introduce themselves, highlighting who they are, what their business is and why I, as the listener, should care. “Why the listener should care” is directly connected with hearing, processing and capitalizing on what the corporate representative or potential business connection is saying.
- It’s about being at the conference, following up with the contacts you made, and then meeting up with them again at the next conference.
Networking and building relationships start with being there. You need to be there. So we’ll see you at Opening Doors, the 5th annual national WEConnect conference in Toronto on November 4 and 5, 2013.