I have been mentoring many along with my journey as an Entrepreneur. My work as The Entrepreneur Alchemist,I wanted to be there,I didn’t want people to make the same errors.I did not want them to give up. I did not want them to feel that there is no one there for them.Along the way while,mentoring,networking & chatting with the women,I realised so many women are clueless of the Do’s and Don’ts of Networking.And Networking is essential for Entrepreneurship or Business.
No. 1- Art of Introduction - While Introducing yourself,keep it short, sweet & simple,no long stories, and if possible,say something meaningful so that the other person can remember meeting you,connecting with you, even years after you first met. They use to say first impression is the last impression and now they say it is the long lasting impression,it can be changed,but,if we can learn the Art of Introduction, then,magically we will always be in people’s memory bank.
No. 2 - Politeness & Focus - If someone is introducing themselves to you,give complete attention,take their visiting card,look at it,read it,say something,ask something.Do not look at your phone,or here there.Keep your focus on that person and what they are saying.Politeness is the key here.
No. 3 - Value Every Person -Maybe the person,who is reaching out to you at a networking event is of not of any value to you,but,maybe you can help them in some way,or maybe someone else can.Never ever walk away,hear them out.make a mental note.Tell them you will keep in mind if a need arises. If,you are short on time,tell them so in a firm and a polite manner.Do not be rude, or just brush them off or start looking at your phone,or smirk or snigger.Tomorrow, you could be facing the same or similar situation. Always remember ‘Every coin has two sides’. And,you never know,who can be important to you in your journey and when? So do not burn your ‘BOATS’
No.4 -Make Notes - If you are at an event where you are meeting many people,if possible there and then scribble a small note/word,which allows you to remember them and then connect after the event.
No.5 - Stay Connected - Post Event do use any of the email software’s or gmail email list of option,mention the event you attended as the list name and the year and whatever else you may need to connect back with the list.basically classification.Classification is an art,and I recall,feeling puzzled in my early years as an Entrepreneur in an era, before Computers and mobile phones. Today,technology,has made it possible for all of us to work faster,do much more with our time as it is as if we have a personal assistant helping us 24x7. So reach out,connect post event,send them a quick hello and a brief note about your work. Keep it short and crisp.
No.6 - Positive Conversation - As far as possible,do not bring stories of your personal life into conversation with anyone at the event,or in the first meeting.Your personal affairs are personal and not for broadcast.Be professional,stick to the purpose of why you are at the event.Even if you see an opportunity,where some personal issue can be resolved,with connecting with a particular person,keep it for later,connect with the person later,post event.There is no rush,and all in due time,when the time is right.
No.7 - Keep it Simple & Easy- Stick to neutral subjects,in conversations,nothing wrong with having opinions,but no need to get into heavy debates,over a topic of discord.Stay away controversial topics.Even if you are passionate about something and an expert on the topic,it is best left alone in a networking event.
No.8 - You & Only You - Very Important for Indian Women,you have come to network,leave your family out of it,your husband and children and mother in law do not need to be part of each sentence you speak.
No.9- Eye Contact - Another very important point,while speaking to anyone,make an eye contact,don’t look here there,or above their head or to the left or right,look at them while talking to them.It is extremely important if you want to make a lasting impression,just like a firm handshake,this is crucial.
No.10- Smile You Must - Most,would say it is obvious,Smile,it doesn’t matter if someone is looking at you or not,Smile is infectious,first of all for oneself.And helps in people reaching out to you.It helps you be approachable,keep your stance matching to your smile,do not be stiff and do not be all over.Stay Grounded,centered and keep on a smile.
No.11-Network - As that is the reason you are there,in the first place. Move about,meet people,get introduced or walk up and introduce yourself.No one is here to bite you or judge you.Everyone is there at the event to connect.And they would love to meet you. And without connecting,how would anyone know of your business,services,products.
No.12 - May I Help - Last but truly very important,help those who seem nervous,strike up a conversation,you can begin with introducing yourself and ask ”HOW YOU MAY HELP THEM”.Now,once you have asked this then you must stay in the conversation,so don’t say it if you don’t mean it.And,do say it if you mean it as this goes a long way in helping you create a healthy network,which is all yours for keeps. I began attending and organising networking events in 2003 and continue to do so till date.
Happy Connecting and Happy Networking!!!
The Entrepreneur Alchemist
Co -Creator Buzzaria
Founder Blue Lotus