How To Do Well In Speed Networking Sessions

How To Do Well In Speed Networking Sessions

 

By Sohaib Azam, Esq

 

For those who have never done speed networking before or never heard of it, speed networking is when you go from table to table speaking with various business owners and/or representatives and exchange information and business cards. You have a specified period of time, usually around three to five minutes and then you move to the next table. You can definitely benefit from speed networking if you know how to do it effectively. This article will give some advice on that subject.

#1: Make Sure To Get Information About The Owner’s Personal Story Behind The Business

There’s always more to a business than its name, brand image, or what it sells. There’s always a personal story behind every business. It is important to take the limited time you have between tables and learn the inspiration behind each business. Not only does it present an opportunity for you to learn about the business and what it sells, it shows the other person how much you care about their business and helps establish a connection between you two on a much deeper level. This will inspire the other person to network with you and help you find leads for your client.

It’s important to keep in mind the limited amount of time you have between tables. Hence, you will have to know what questions to ask that will probe the most important information from the other person.

#2: Always Volunteer Information About Your Company, Even If You Are Not Asked

This point may be a controversial one because it may involve you being selfish to some degree. In such a short period of time between tables, you need to make sure the other person learns something about your company. This might include some perspective about your personal story pertaining to why you started the business as well as how your business is different than others. As always, you must take into consideration the short amount of time you have to convey information. Thus, you must choose what information you think will have the greatest impact but that you will be able to convey within the given time.

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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Sohaib_Azam,_Esq/2182390

The Networking Abyss

The Networking Abyss

 

By Chi Chi Okezie

As business entrepreneurs, working professionals or students, we understand the importance of networking. There are times when networking can get overwhelming, seem complicated and even a vast creature to handle. Do not give up so quickly. Take time to refocus, tr-energize and map out a successful networking game plan.

Listed below are strategic ways in which savvy networkers can find direction in a networking state of confusion or vast uncertainty.

 

Face to Face

In our business lives, we tend to hide behind the screens. Whether it is on our phone, our tablet or computer, we tend to miss out on face to face contact or human interactions. In order gain more clarity in your networking, sometimes it is better to meet face to face. Networking 1-on-1 is an excellent way of reconnecting, building strong relationships and growing trust. Not only does it add value to the relationship but it can also set a platform for accountability.

 

Touchpoints

Another great way to get the most out of your networking is to reach out to your colleagues at certain touchpoints. Perhaps you ran across an interesting article, use that as a touchpoint to connect. You could have met someone new and can use that as an opportunity to make a introduction or referral to an existing contact in your network. Look for meaningful ways to re-engage and keep the communication flowing and relevant.

Hopefully these quick tips can help you navigate through networking dilemmas with success. Find the value in executing a networking plan which promotes trust and building relationships.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Chi_Chi_Okezie/154937

Skills You Were Not Taught in School – Networking For Career Success

Skills You Were Not Taught in School – Networking For Career Success

By Michael M DeSafey

There are the technical skills you were taught in school: engineering, geology, environmental services. The science and methods (The why). As you start working in the industry though you need to gain more skills and experiences related to real life business activities.

As your career progresses you will earn professional registrations and most likely be promoted to the Project levels. Your responsibilities begin to increase and it’s up to you to meet the deadlines and prepare deliverables. You learn to write reports, interact with clients and manage project teams.

At first you will find it tough going, but with time and experience, it becomes like second nature. Because you know the why, and have learned the how.

One of the most difficult activities engineering and environmental professionals are tasked with is Business development; networking. You understand the technical aspects to your job; the science and engineering (the why), but the how (how to build relationships, how to establish clients, and how network with associates) is beyond your education. This is a skill you most definitely were not taught in school and need to develop as a professional to advance your career. But where do you start?

Here are some tips on how to network

  • It’s important to remember that no one ever died from networking (we checked).
  • Start out by attending an association luncheon. If you choose an event with a speaker or topic that you’re interested in you’ll have something to talk about during the networking session.
  • Bring cards and be prepared with your elevator speech. This is who you are, who you work for, and how your firm relates to the days topic, in 30 seconds. If your marketing department doesn’t have that message crafted, try Google.
  • Have a plan. If the event attendees aren’t listed online, show up to the event early and scan the name tags. Make a mental note of who you’d like to talk to.
  • If you recognize a name of someone you don’t know but would like to meet (a decision maker at a potential client firm, perhaps), hang out at the registration table and see who picks up that name tag.
  • As other attendees show up, it’s OK to make a beeline for a friendly face. Ask your friend to introduce you around. Caveat: don’t hang out with your friend for the entire networking session. Give her time to mingle on her own; make sure you mingle on your own as well.
  • The easiest way to find someone to talk to is locate a person standing by himself, wishing he were anywhere but there. Put your nerves aside, walk up, and say hi.
  • (Speaking of nerves, it’s perfectly normal to be nervous. Many seasoned business development professionals get butterflies before every networking event).
  • The best ice-breaker is to ask your new acquaintance about himself. People love to talk about themselves.
  • Ask open-ended questions. A yes-or-no question is a conversation killer. Lead him with questions that lead to more questions, but don’t interrogate him!
  • It’s OK, even preferable, to talk about topic other than business. Relationships are developed over time by getting to know someone as a person, instead of potential work.
  • Know when to move on. Don’t monopolize one person’s time, or let one person monopolize yours. Once you make an acquaintance, learn about him and exchange information, move on.
  • Make it your goal to meet at least three new people during the networking time. This will keep you moving around and maximize the use of your time.
  • When it’s time to be seated for lunch DO NOT sit with someone you’ve already talked to. This is the time to find one of the people you want to meet and find a seat at, or near, her table. Introduce yourself and chat for just a moment, with a promise to follow-up at a later time.
  • Once everyone is seated, pass a stack of your cards around the table. Everyone else should do the same. Then introduce yourself to the people on either side of you. Keep the conversation light. Now is not the time to set meetings or discuss projects.
  • Please, please, use common sense when making conversation! Politics, religion, sex, or anything controversial is off-limits.
  • Industry gossip, no matter how juicy, is also off-limits. You don’t know who knows who, and the very nature of gossip is negative. Don’t get drawn into it.
  • After the presentation is over, close the loop with your table mates and the other people you talked to. Everyone has to get back to work, so now is not the time to strike up an in-depth conversation.
  • The most important part of any networking event is the follow-up. Send an email to every person you met. Remind them of your conversation, provide any information you promised to share, and ask for a follow-up meeting.

The more often you attend events, the wider your circle of contacts becomes. Keep in touch with your network. Develop relationships, share information, and move forward in your career.

 

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Michael_M_DeSafey/1832732

INSPIRE – A Power Word for Every Day

INSPIRE – A Power Word for Every Day

Inspire-Power-Word

Inspire

In 2011 this word came crashing into my life as being central to everything I am about. I had the privilege of meeting Thomas Power from the UK, in person, in Sydney. Thomas spent an hour with me taking me through a guided session that resulted in bringing everything that drives me down to two words.

Those 2 words were: Inspiring Solutions.

Thomas’ instructions to me were to treat those two words as key to everything I do and I started from that moment on to build my personal brand around ‘Inspiring Solutions’.  A few months later I set up my first LinkedIn profile and used my new ‘core words’ to create the following statement:

 

“Passionate, energetic and dynamic, I am all about inspiring solutions through international business development and helping others network and connect effectively.”

 

From 2011 and even more so today, ‘Inspiring Solutions’ is my benchmark for everything I share on-line, everything I tweet about, like, re-share, post, comment on and for offline face to face networking conversations, discussions, topics I will talk about and even people I choose to associate with. If it is aligned with inspiring solutions, I am there. If it is not then I politely choose to exit or change the subject and I like to think I honestly manage this most of the time.

 

The simple word ‘inspire’ and all its variations, inspiring, inspiration, inspirational, have taught be more about life, about attitudes towards business and pleasure, about people, about positive change that focus on 2 key words brings, than I ever would have thought possible.

My favourite definition of the verb to inspire is

To fill with an animating, quickening or exalting influence; to fill with enlivening or exalting emotion

 

I have discovered the power of choosing to become inspiring and have been on a mission for the last couple of years to inspire others to choose the same. This personal purpose statement that I created at a workshop led by Jan Haldane is a powerful reminder: ‘My purpose is to express my passion, energy and drive to inspire, connect and build engaging networks with people and businesses.

 

I could write all day about this amazing little word inspire but I will choose to finish off with some of a key note that I wrote and delivered as part of a Corporate Series led by Cam Calkoen in 2014:

“Inspiring people are attractive. They ooze something which the rest of us want – they feed us, challenge us, and energise us. We want to follow them, know them, and be associated with them.

In choosing to become inspiring, you will choose to become one of those people who others gravitate towards. They will share your posts, like your blogs and updates, will connect with you, follow you, meet face to face with you, attend events you are at, introduce you to others and look to build some kind of relationship with you.

So inspire those around you and find others who inspire YOU. Build your network around these 2 points and you will have loyal connections who will bring others who they think would be inspired by or resonate with you AND you will be doing the same for those connections who inspire you.

It’s all about GIVE and TAKE. Giving comes first.”

 

Jayne Albiston
Director
Business over Breakfast (BoB) Clubs Australia & New Zealand

FOCUS – A Power Word for Every Day

FOCUS – A Power Word for Every Day

Focus-Power-Word

 

In April 2008, I bought a book at the airport as I was boarding a long haul flight. It was entitled, ‘The Power of Focus’ by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Les Hewitt. I read it cover to cover on the plane, not realizing how much it was literally going to change my outlook on both my business and personal life.
I learned that,“It’s all about focus. The main reason most people struggle professionally and personally is simply lack of focus.

I learned that, ‘my habits will determine my future’ and that ‘it takes focused action, personal discipline and lots of energy every day to make things happen’.

The word ‘Focus’ became my mantra for 2008 and it guided me through what turned out to be an extremely challenging but rewarding year.  Another best selling author Brian Tracy claims that, ‘Your ability to focus is the most important success skill you can ever develop.’
Over the last 8 years, I have continued my journey both personal and business, learning the power of focus, seeing both successes and failures but all the while learning more and more the fact that much more is achieved when we focus instead of spreading ourselves too thinly or trying to target everyone, ending up targeting no one.

Focus is potent, undiluted and it attracts.

JF Kennedy said, “Effort and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.

It is timely that now for 2016, ‘focus’, meaning having a central point of attention, is one of our key words to drive our business growth across our Business over Breakfast (BoB) Club network in Australia and New Zealand.

Focus clarifies, cuts out the distractions and provides a constant reminder of what you set out to do, who you set out to be and where you set out to go and it is focus that keeps you on the track to get there.
Focus narrows it all down, brings a simplicity and a strength. It un-complicates you and your brand. When you have focus, others can see that and are attracted to the power that brings.

Focus is and will always remain in our list of key words to drive us forward both personally and professionally. If you have not embraced ‘focus’ and its power in your personal and business life, then I strongly encourage you to do so today. We welcome comments and questions.

 

Jayne Albiston
Director
Business over Breakfast (BoB) Clubs Australia & New Zealand