Networking 101 is a must-have skill for any business person and entrepreneur. It isn’t taught in schools, so newbies normally feel a little lost. Just last week I chatted with a young lawyer building her practise who told me that her training didn’t include business building or networking. She felt nervous and overwhelmed with the idea of going out and building a network. Sound familiar?
1. Stop Grumping
No one wants to hear you complain about your allergies, your bad night sleep, or that annoying client taking up too much of your time. If you are not feeling positive and upbeat, suck it up and put on your game face. Or stay home.
2. No Clumping
Don’t bunch up in a safe group of people you know. Sure – say hello to familiar faces, but schedule another time to socialize with friends. Networking 101 means meeting new people. I once attended a Chamber event where everyone stood in 2 clumps, grumping and chatting together. Neither clump had any interest in meeting new people or learning about other businesses. What a waste of time.
3. Open up
Be open to meeting new people. Don’t dismiss them because of their company name, industry, or hairstyle. Make eye contact and make a connection, instead of scanning their name badge and making a snap judgement about the person.
Networking 101 is being positive, meeting new people, and being open to opportunities.