If you think the above four words are the beginning of a children’s rhyme, I’m sorry but you’re wrong. They are four words that should be uppermost in the mind of everyone who calls themselves a ‘networker’. In my capacity as Membership Recruitment Associate for the University Women’s Club of Vancouver at Hycroft, I attend approximately 4 networking events per month. Here are my steps for productive and effective networking.
1. Meeting: The easy part! Research a group. Register for an event. Purchase a ticket and show up. Do: Wear something distinctive, a bright colour, a pretty scarf, great shoes. It helps people remember who you are. Don’t: Stand in a corner by yourself. Forget to bring cards. Load up your hands with food and drink.
2. Greeting: Be friendly and open. If you are nervous or stressed, people will pick up on that. Don’t rush to a networking event determined to pick up ‘X’ amount of cards. That’s not the point. Neither is a rehearsed pitch. Ask people about themselves/their business/career.
3. Sharing: If you do strike up a conversation with someone you would like to know better, ask for a card. The next day have a look at their website/blog/facebook page. If you like what you see, say hello, and share their information on your social networks or ask to connect on LinkedIn.
4. Helping: I believe networking is helping others grow their network, and their business. When you make a connection with someone, ask them what you can do for them (A la: master networkers Pamela Chatry, Marci Dean, Cathy Kuzel, Jen Schaeffers) When one of us succeeds, we all succeed. In networking and in life.
See you at a networking event soon…I look forward to meeting you.