Insights For Networking With Intention By Cathy Kuzel
Posted on November 17, 2013
Your mom may have said, “Don’t talk to strangers,” but strangers are only people you haven’t had the opportunity to meet yet!
Whether for business or personal interest, networking plays a significant role in everyone’s lives. Looking for an Angel Investor, a new ski buddy or the next best shoe sale? Your network of friends, business associates and contacts are where you’ll find it. Cathy Kuzel (@ConnectedWoman) shared her techniques to network efficiently at mSummit Conference on November 16, 2013.
Top 3 Networking Mistakes:
- Giving a sales pitch (thinking only about yourself)
- Wondering eyes during a conversation with someone – if you need to, let people know that you’re waiting for someone to arrive or whatever the reason may be, just be open about it
- Arriving with friends and staying with them for the entire day. What did you come to a networking event for?! Instead, tag team with your friend to cover more ground and meet more people combined.
4 Elements to a great introduction:
- How you help people – NOT what you do
- Specific asks – Are you looking for a mentor, someone who knows about franchising or interested to meet a social media expert? Your asks cannot be anything related to selling for your business!
5 tips to get maximum benefits at ANY function where you can network:
- Have a plan – Who are you trying to meet? What do you want to accomplish at this event? How many connections do you hope to make tonight?
- Business cards – No excuses, you need business cards!
- Act like the host – Be the first to say hello to someone so once they introduce themselves, you can reply with your own introduction customized to who they are and what they do
- Leave gracefully – “It was a pleasure to meet you”, outline next steps (refer them to someone else, meet up for coffee chat?), or give them a warm introduction to someone else you know who could benefit from meeting them.
- Follow up – Do what you say you were going to do and by the time you said you’d do it!
Are you a collector or connector?
Don’t be one of those people who collect tons of business cards and adds them to their mailing list without permission. Make sure you actually connect with them. How well do you know the people you met today? What did you find out about them? You don’t have to remember names but know what they’re about and follow up with them. How can you help them?
- Be careful of your first impression of people because it’s uninformed. If you give people a chance it might surprise you how well you can get along with them, so talk to everyone!
- At conferences, when asking questions or participating, always stand up and introduce yourself to the group.
- Clear diction is important. Speak clearly, slowly and confidently. Pronounce your T’s and finish your words!
- Don’t be afraid to ask! You won’t get what you’re looking for otherwise.
Cathy Kuzel – Your Connection to All Things Small Biz! With 25+ years of experience as a successful entrepreneur, she is recognized across Canada for her in-house and public seminars on sales and customer service. Named one of the Top Ten Mentors in Canada, Cathy is the Founder of The Connected Woman Association inVancouver, BC, and is a networking maven. For information on upcoming workshops or to engage Cathy as a Keynote speaker at your next event, visit www.cathykuzel.com (©2013).