Networking Tips

Networking at its best:
A GTWoman Wine Tour – next one is April 25th!

In honor of our career issue, we thought we would rehash the landmines known as networking events.

We host monthly women’s events and we always walk away with a multitude of stories… both good and bad. Here, we talk about the blunders and missteps (ours and others!) of any good social event.

The Talker
We’ve all done this: started to tell someone about your business and the next thing you know, it’s taken an unseemly path into your third-grader’s hygiene habits. You are thinking: “Why can’t I shut the front door?” and yet you rattle on.

If this thought crosses your mind, you can rest assured it has crossed the mind of the woman you are talking to. Pull up the reigns and look into her eyes. Exactly, she has no eyes. They are glassy marbles set in her sockets at this point.

Don’t panic. You can still save this. You’ve put this woman into a talking coma and it’s your responsibility to resuscitate her. Do so by leaving. Run, exit the scene, excuse yourself immediately. She will not wonder why you made a hasty exit, only be happy you did so.

Takeaway: It’s not the story you’re telling that is the death of a conversation. What’s usually the problem is the dead-on roar of 100-plus wine-fueled women in the room with you. There’s chaos, good chaos, but to talk too long to any one person leaves the woman wondering what she’s missing behind her?

The Closer
God, no, do not go for the close on your first meeting with someone. This will turn off any and every woman within a mile. Sure, it’s a good time to let people know what you do, but don’t ask for an appointment the moment your hand hits hers. Why not? you ask, The point of networking is to network.

Alas, if this is your take, write any meetings you land in pencil. Appointments made under duress will surely be canceled later: grandmothers and pets dying left and right as ironclad excuses. The woman will agree to see you when you are face to face, but back at the office she’ll come to her senses and maim her dog herself to get out of meeting you.

Takeaway: Take it slow. This is First Base. If you go too fast, someone’s gonna die (Granny).

The Non Follow-Upper
You have a great idea. You told people all about it at the last networking event. You were going to change the world! You met someone who was going to help you change the world! But she never called you about it… You can’t help yourself: You are a wee bit indignant the next time you cross paths again.

But leave your hurt feelings for another day. Here’s what really happened: The woman went home with your business card in her pocket, washed it with Tide and then, later, picked it in tiny bits out of her dryer. She had great intentions of calling you, but even greater intentions of doing the laundry.

This happens after meetings all over the world. But do they go crazy trying to read your card, piecing together lint and letters to do so? Not likely. Instead, they let themselves off the hook with one thought: if she wants to talk, she’ll find me.
Takeaway: Make the follow-up call yourself… because most people don’t. If you do, you are ahead of others competing for her time and interest. Your idea might not be the best or the brightest, but hurray for laundered business cards that level the playing field.

Takeaway No. 2: Don’t become a stalker. Following up once or twice is fine. If someone evades you vaguely, good news: She’s told you “no” without having to come right out and insist that she is, in fact, booked through 2017.

Instead, set sail for a new shore and part on good terms. Heck, you might connect at another event down the road. Where you can regale her with a story about your third-grader’s “incident” at recess.

So, ladies, with our career issue, we advise you to heed our warnings and enjoy networking drama-free!

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