Vistas: Geri Stengel’s Blog: Networking

4 Tips for Getting the Right Advisors for Your Business

Entrepreneurs don’t have to go it alone. They can put together an advisory board for their business made up of people who can provide insight into marketplace trends, gauge future trends, make introductions to customers, facilitate funding, and suggest alliances.

How to Maximize Your Effectiveness at Networking Events

by Janet Falk

You've decided to attend a large networking event hosted by a professional organization where you are considering membership. If you're nervous in anticipation of walking into a room where you know almost no one, here are five tips to maximize your success at the event:

  1. networkingHaving pre-registered, look at the website of the organization. Make a list of the officers, board members and committee chairs; if their email addresses are not provided, contact their employer's receptionist and get their email address. With the Subject line: Will you attend the NAME OF EVENT on DATE, send a brief introductory email that describes a bit about you, plus your work with a relevant business or organization, along these lines:
    NAME,

     

    Your name came to my attention as an officer of the ORGANIZATION.

     

    I am YOUR NAME and TITLE at COMPANY/ORGANIZATION, BRIEF DESCRIPTION.

     

    Having worked with RELEVANT COMPANY/ORGANIZATION on various projects in SUBJECT AREA, I am interested in learning more about the PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATION and how I might get involved in your activities.

     

    Perhaps we can chat at the NAME OF EVENT, where I hope to meet you and your colleagues.

     

    Regards,
    YOUR NAME
    Company/Organization website in signature block

     

    Because these individuals are the leaders, movers and shakers of the host organization, they will be thrilled to hear from a potential new member and may even visit your website to learn more about you. Perhaps 60-90 percent of them will email you back with a warm welcome.

  2. Respond to their replies indicating that you will be wearing a distinctive tie or jacket at the event, so that you will be sure to spot each other.
  3. Look at the photos of the officers on the organization's website or their LinkedIn profiles before you go to the event, and bring the list of officers with you.
  4. At the event, be on the look-out for these contacts, and when you speak with them, the initial subject of the conversation is the professional organization, not yourself.  As the conversation flows freely and you collect their cards, ask them to introduce you to others in the organization. Remember, you are a prospective member, so let the officers cultivate you.
  5. Follow-up after the event, indicating what a pleasure it was to connect in person, how much you enjoyed learning about the organization and you look forward to seeing them at future events. If you have joined the organization, let them know they played a role in that decision.
This approach turns you, a newcomer, from a bystander to a focus of attention. It also creates a shared agenda of the benefits of membership and future activities of the professional organization, in which these contacts are heavily invested. Thanks to that common ground, you can sow productive networking seeds as you work toward your own goals.
 
Good luck!
 
Janet Falk provides media relations and marketing communications services for nonprofits, small businesses and consultants. Her proactive communication campaigns help them achieve their goals through expanded contact with members, prospects, supporters and influentials. Follow her on Twitter @JanetLFalk. 

Women-led Businesses Bring Better Returns

Why are Warren Buffett and other men bullish on women?

Warren Buffett recognizes value when he sees it. His style of investing in high-quality, underpriced companies has made him one of the richest men in the world. Women are an under valued resource who are key to America’s prosperity wrote Buffett in an essay in Fortune.

How to Network to Grow Your Business

If women entrepreneurs want to grow their businesses, they need to network. That means stop behaving like shy little girls: Put yourself out there, especially when the economy is slow.

5 Ways to Improve Your Networking

by Lauren Fritsch

I’ve received a ton of questions lately about networking: how to do it effectively, how not to be the weirdo, how is it like dating, how to follow up, how not to waste your time with losers, what is different about networking with women vs. men, how to network online, networking mistakes amateurs make.

I Think I Can, I Think I Can … I Know I Will!

I’m a Pollyanna, always optimistic, always seeing the glass half full instead of half empty.

Be a Winner: Learn From Mistakes – Yours and Those of Others

Failing doesn’t make you a failure; it makes you a learner. If you don’t think that this applies to running a business or nonprofit, think again. Bad experience is a great business leader.

Learning Opportunities Expand for Small Business Owners, Entrepreneurs

The benefits chronicled by graduates of training programs for entrepreneurs are many and varied. In its press release announcing that 1,000 entrepreneurs have now graduated from the Kauffman FastTrac program it sponsored, New York City lauded both the new levels of growth achieved by individual entrepreneurs and the benefits to the city’s economic recovery.

How do Small Businesses Grow? Experience and Money

"The U.S. economy looks to be in better shape, but a full recovery will only be achieved once small firms begin to prosper" and "We do want businesses that are viable and have good business plans and lots of experience backing them up to get loans."

Both those statements come from Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve as quoted in The Wall Street Journal.

Trends in 2011 Will Be Same as They Were in 2010: Collaboration, Social Media, Integrity

collaboration    integrity    networking    Nonprofit     nonprofits    social media    Social Media    Trends

Collaboration
Every conference I went to in 2010 stressed collaboration, whether in new forms of financing for social good, both nonprofit and social enterprises, or among co-workers, within sectors or across sectors to generate new products/services. If you didn't get the memo, check out some of the posts from the Social Impact Exchange 2010 Conference



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