5 Tips for Surviving Networking Events

networking eventNetworking events can be essential to the success of any business endeavor. Remember that old saying, “It’s not what you know. It’s who you know?” That still holds true.

Networking gives you the opportunity to make important connections, get leads and referrals, learn more about your industry and competitors, and make a name for yourself in your field. Despite this, the idea of attending one of these events may strike fear in your heart. Don’t worry–with a few simple tips, networking is a breeze.

Here are 5 tips for surviving your next networking event:

Smile

A smile can go a long way in any type of social situation, but certainly when you’re networking. First impressions mean everything, and people develop favorable opinions of those who appear friendly and approachable.

Likewise, people are more likely to come over and introduce themselves if you have a smile on your face. Lastly, smiling boosts your confidence and helps you feel ready to reach out to others at networking events.

This doesn’t mean you have to plaster a goofy smile on your face the entire time. It just means you should make an effort to smile often.

Recognize the Value in Every Meeting

Let’s say you go to a networking event, hoping to rub elbows with potential clients. At some point during the event, you become embroiled (stuck) in conversation with someone you see as unlikely to hire you, such as a person in a different industry or even a competitor.

Don’t dismiss that connection as useless. You never know how or when just such a connection will help you. That person could become a source of referrals or even insight into a new market. Make an effort to be friendly and interested in everyone.

Be Interested and Interesting

No one likes talking to someone who drones on about himself, even if it is a networking event. So listen! When you are talking with someone, give him your full attention, ask questions, and provide genuine comments. Don’t spend the whole conversation scanning the room for your next connection. People can see right through that. And when you’re speaking? Smile; give complete, descriptive answers (don’t stop at yes or no); and let your passion for your business/industry show, without getting carried away.

Pretend you are talking with a new friend rather than a stranger. If you are skilled at telling jokes, crack one or two. Laughter puts just about anyone at ease.

Limit Drinking

Many networking events have free drinks, and sometimes there are alcoholic beverages to enjoy. If you get nervous in social situations, your first thought may be to have a few drinks to loosen up. Don’t. Stick with one drink—maybe two if you have a high tolerance for alcohol.

You want to keep your voice clear and your mind sharp at these events. Drinking increases the chance that you will make a fool of yourself.

Ask the Right Questions

Yes, networking is about more than just passing out business cards. One of the biggest mistakes people make at networking events is asking the wrong types of questions. If you ask questions that people can answer with a simple yes or no, you’ll find it much harder to get a conversation started and keep it going.

Instead, ask open-ended questions that give the person you’ve met something to sink her teeth into. For example, ask “What do you mean by__________?” or Why do you think ___________?”

Use the above tips to make your networking a success, but keep in mind that practice makes perfect. The more networking events you attend, the more at ease you will eventually feel.

Business Networking, Business Tips, Marketing Insights

Exciting Events for This Week, April 23-29

For the exciting events happening in Michigan this week, here they are:

Oakland Chamber Network Mixer – Royal Oak
April 23, 2014 @ 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Ribbon Cutting: Office Staffing & Staffing Inc. – Grand Rapids
April 24, 2014 @ 3:30 pm – 3:45 pm

Coffee Talk – Rochester Hills
April 25, 2014 @ 8:30 am – 10:00 am

Social Mixer for Entrepreneurs and Professionals – Rochester Hills
April 29, 2014 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

For more details, visit our Business Events Calendar page!

Business Networking

Successful People Think Differently

Is there a real difference between how successful and unsuccessful people think?

This inspiring video by Brendon Burchard explores these differences. And he also let us in on how we look at things can make a huge difference.

“…I have to consciously design my life and say okay, now if I want to change and want my dream, then something new has to come from me. I’m going to become a better person. I’m going to become a person who is more optimistic, more confident and more driven, not because I am that now, but because we can grow.”

Business Inspiration, Business Tips, Uncategorized

What Do Colors Mean For Your Business?

Colors mean a lot for your business!

You can be perceived in a lot of different ways through the color choices you make.

Let’s learn more about them in this infographic:

Entrepreneurship, Marketing Insights

11 Entrepreneur Quotes to Inspire You

robert frostSome days it’s just hard to get started. Other days, it seems the workday will never end, and you doubt you’ll make it through. On days like these, you can definitely use some words of encouragement. Here are 10entrepreneur quotes to inspire you to persevere, thrive, and succeed:

1. “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”  –Steve Jobs, Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO, Apple

2. “Wonder what your customer really wants? Ask. Don’t tell.”  –Lisa Stone, BlogHer Co-Founder and CEO

3. “Always deliver more than expected.”  –Larry Page, Co-Founder, Google

4. “Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.”  –Stephen R. Covey, Author

5. “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”  –Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister

6. “The way to get started is to quit talking and start doing.”  –Walt Disney, Co-Founder, Disney

7.  “If you just work on stuff that you like and you’re passionate about, you don’t have to have a master plan with how things will play out.”  –Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook Founder and CEO

8. “Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.” –Gloria Steinem, Journalist, Activist

9. “You can’t use up creativity.  The more you use, the more you have.” –Maya Angelou, Author, Poet

10. “Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.” –Farrah Gray, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist

Choose a couple of your favorite entrepreneur quotes and post them where you can see them every day. Or just keep this list handy to refer to whenever you need it. Above all, follow your dreams and never give up.

Have a favorite quote to share? We want to hear it! Share in the comments!

Business Inspiration, Business Tips ,

Exciting Events for This Week, April 16-22

For the exciting events happening in Michigan this week, here they are:

Dress Barn Ribbon Cutting – Lansing
April 16, 2014 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Third Thursday’s – Southfield
April 17, 2014 @ 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm

For more details, visit our Business Events Calendar page!

Business Networking

10 Mistakes of Entrepreneurs

In this video, Guy Kawasaki shares the top 10 mistakes entrepreneurs make and what we can all learn from them.

Business Networking, Entrepreneurship ,

What’s the Evolution of an Entrepreneur?

Entrepreneurs have really gone a long, long way since the time of old. In this infographic, let’s see how they’ve started and evolved up to the current times.

Evolution of an Entrepreneur

Explore more visuals like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

 

Business Networking

6 Mistakes to Avoid When Attending Business Networking Events

This post was originally written by Shari Harley, the founder and President of Candid Culture, and originally appeared in www.candidculture.com.

There are several mistakes most professionals make while attending conferences, training sessions, and other networking events. Avoid these common practices, and you’ll get great value from networking events that will more than justify your time away from the office and far exceed the price of attendance.

For the full post, click here.

Business Networking ,

A Look At An A to Z Guide to Business Networking

If you’re planning to attend a networking event, here’s a quick guide to make sure that you get the most out of it.

See the infographic below for tips about leveraging networking events.

The A - Z of Business Networking

Explore more visuals like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

 

Business Networking