How Speed Networking Can Work for You
I'm not suggesting that you shouldn't attend networking events; I'm suggesting that you change your approach and expectations.
While things have changed over the years since my early entrepreneurial days, some of the core components of business connections haven't. In the early eighties I was an over-confident kid that powered my way through cold calls with an amazing closing rate.
My success was rooted in the fact that (A) I had a service that was not easily found elsewhere, (B) had the self confidence to make them "believe" I could deliver, and did, and (C ) was personable enough that they came to like me and want to do business with me: what could be better than making money with someone you actually liked and hung out with? I'd often take them on fishing junkets, trips to Atlantic City, and the theater and dinner -- with our respective wives.
Today things seem to have shifted a bit with all the social networking events, especially with the ability to organize and promote them via social media platforms. But the principles haven't changed as much as the order may have reversed: become friends first, do business later.
To that end social networking events provide a great forum to meet many people in a short period of time. Which ones should you attend? Do a little homework to (A) find events providing information or access to services that interest you, on a business or personal level, and/or (B) events that potential customers are likely to also attend.
When you arrive at an event, you should have your story short, well-rehearsed, and ready to be told, but not in such a hurry to tell it. Desperation, like fear, is all too detectable in the business jungle.
Take your time. Walk about, talk with people, be interested in them, and do so like a relaxed big cat fully fed; not a hungry one on the prowl for fresh meat to pounce on.
Find people that share interests, not just industry-related interests, but personal interests too. Friends you make in totally unrelated businesses have friends that may be in yours.
For example, when I launched a new technology company late last year, it was friends that referred and brought me my first four projects. Friendship and friend-circles are powerful tools for a businessman; and I'm not suggesting that they shouldn't be real friendships, because they should always be real friendships for friendships' sake. Forging phony friendships to extract business will be too quickly found out, and may -- and likely will -- come back to haunt you later.
UPCOMING NYC EVENTS
Here are a few interesting events that might suit you.
Connecting To Greatness I've written before is well run. So her new Speed Networking on October 19th I would expect to be worth the time and energy. Meet 16 new contacts in less than an hour, and then extend conversations in the unstructured portion of the evening with those that catch your interest.
If you do attend, please let me know your opinion of it to share in a future article.
Vyne Lounge 82 W. 3rd St btw Sullivan and Thompson Streets $22 (advance) $30 at the door starting at 5:30pm
NY Business Entrepreneur Network is hosting the Startup Roundtable 18 with Dr. Howard Morgan on October 1 from 6pm to 9pm. Dr. Howard Morgan is co-founder and Partner at First Round Capital, and the event will feature a fireside chat with Howard, discussing the New York startup trend, how his firm invests in startups, and he'll accept questions live from the audience. Pizza and drinks will be served.
NYU Stern - Kaufman Management Center Room 2-60 44 West Fourth Street $15
NY Connect and Learn Business Networking Group is hosting a Business networking event with a mini-workshop on Sales on October 2 at 6:30Pm
Hive at 55, 13th floor at 55 Broad st. $20
Chelsea Manor 138 West 25th Street (Between 6th & 7th Avenue). The entry fee is $10