Sunday, September 02, 2007

66 Tips For Better Networking - #31

Route 66 - The Journey Toward Success

Network One Step At A Time

Often times people are overwhelmed by the magnitude of the crowd when they attend a business conference, seminar or networking event. With hundreds or even thousands of attendees, many people can become fearful of trying to make connections. For those who consider themselves introverts, this can be even more daunting.

We all know that opportunities appear in our lives from other people, and thus having connections is important..... therefore it is beneficial to expand your network of contacts. Leaving this to chance is not a good strategy. A plan of action is always a better choice.

I received the following advice from Tad Druart, a public relations expert, who admits that he occasionally struggles with being apprehensive in large crowds. His recommendation to plan ahead and know whom you want to meet. This is a great strategy:

"Don’t be afraid of the crowd and feel like you have to meet everyone. Learn a bit about the event in advance and discover who is expected to be in attendance. Then make a list of 2-3 people that you would like to meet and develop a quick strategy to break the ice.

Seek them out and approach them by saying something like, “You’re Thom Singer? I’ve read the article you wrote on the Austin Startup Blog and your other tips on networking. I’m a software engineer with expertise in security, who would you suggest I meet tonight?”

After a couple of small successes under your belt, the crowd gets easier to manage and fear starts to dissipate. As an introvert that is how I had to approach working the room – it wasn’t about meeting everyone. If I came home with two business cards and had started a relationship with those two people it was a win.

As an introvert at heart it is still hard to work a room, but I don’t have the anxiety I had about it 10 years ago."

Tad is right, Rome was not built in a day. Start small and build your network one person at a time.

Have A Great Day.


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