You took the plunge and made the big move to Des Moines - congratulations! Even if you don't know anyone here yet, it doesn't mean you can't jump into the networking pool and start building strategic relationships.
We're resisting the urge to toss famous Vegas song titles into this paragraph. You know they're going through all our heads: "Hey Baby, Let's Go to Vegas," "That's What You Get for Waking Up in Vegas," "Vi-va, Las Vegas."
There are many ways to begin this practice. I find a formal meditation process to be very important for my journey. Countless resources are available, but a few that I have used and recommend are as follows.
Anytime we meet a person for the first time, or reconnect with someone at a social function or business event, an appropriate greeting sets the tone for the exchange. The manner in which you say "Hello" creates an opportunity for someone to form an immediate impression.
Some places are more likely to be a ground for opportunities than others. Big cities have more workplaces and more networking events going on than smaller towns. Golf courses might have more business people than your local café, and so on.
When possible, before going to events, learn about who will be in attendance. This way, you can determine if it even makes sense to register. Depending on the size of the event, one competitor shouldn't make a difference.
Establishing a strong professional network can benefit your business several ways, from receiving feedback by bouncing ideas off successful entrepreneurs and business owners to opening doors that were once closed -- building your professional network should be something you are always working on.
There is one component that enables us to strengthen any type of relationship. This component represents a basic human need we all crave. But no one really anticipates you showing this component in your business relationships.
David Goldberg was a power connector in the best sense of the word. Not just because he moved in some very powerful circles. It's not everybody who has Bono sing at their memorial service, or the top CEOs of all of Silicon Valley drop everything to attend.
Done right, networking can be the silver bullet for building your profile, gaining new business opportunities and building your career. But what happens when you show up to an event and just can't find ways to engage with others?
First, it's important to understand why to have a one-on-one meeting. If you've been referred or met someone at an event that you consider a prospect (they told you that they're interested in doing business with you or hiring you), then that's probably a good reason for you to meet with them.
You meet someone for the first time; they ask the question, "What do you do for a living?" What is your answer? Like many, your reply might be the business equivalent of name, rank and serial number. An example of a typical response could be "I am the VP of Sales for XYZ Company."
An interview with Gina Bianchini, CEO of Mightybell. This interview is part of a series on Trailblazing Women role models (Entrepreneurs and Leaders) from around the world and first appeared on Global Invest Her. You have to see what you can be.
I just attended a TEDx rehearsal where all the speakers (some were students, others academics) got a chance to do a practice run. As I observed their presentations, a few best practices came to mind that could help you generate more business.
Do you have a methodology for helping your strategic relationships achieve their desired outcomes? If you don't, you have slim hopes of becoming or remaining a priority to them. You cannot be impactful with them if you cannot sustain their interest in you.
While opportunities are great and often hard to come by, an equally important skill for entrepreneurs is learning how to discern between the opportunities that are worth pursuing and those that are not.
Networking is probably one of the most overused words and activities in today's society but despite being over used it is the most effective way to establish and build meaningful relationships that can be beneficial both personally and professionally.
By seizing any opportunity you can to work with people in your company in areas that you are interested in; you are essentially laying the groundwork for you to gain more access to this area of your company in the future.