Boldly Going Forward
“A true adventurer goes forth aimless and uncalculating to meet and greet unknown fate.” O. Henry
Are you an adventurer? Or maybe you are a business owner or salesperson that just wants to do well and be successful. If so, sometimes you need to meet and greet the unknown. However, walking into the unknown or a new networking event can be very stressful. The rewards of doing it though could be immeasurable.
One way to do it is to redefine what it means to interact with “strangers.” When you are invited to a party or a something like a wedding in which you might only know a few people, you have the commonality with everyone in the room to at least know some people in attendance. You already have this built-in camaraderie to talk about the people who are getting married or who you know that invited you. A networking event is not really all that different if you view it as an occasion to find what you have in common with other people there.
Commonalities help “strangers” connect more easily. So take the initiative to approach others, introduce yourself and share a piece of information that could reveal the common thread you share with them. During conversations, listen carefully to discover shared interests or goals. Pick up on something they have said to use as the basis for sustaining conversations. The best way to do business is with people you know and trust. So use networking events to start building your list of people you know and trust.
Another way to make these events easier for you is to prepare and practice your self-introduction. To avoid being tongue-tied when you try to start a conversation with someone you don’t know, prepare a self-introduction that is clear, interesting and well delivered. It is important to be able to tell about yourself and your business in a way that interests others, and it needs to be delivered quickly enough as to not sound awkward but easy enough to understand as to not feel uncomfortable. Although practicing your introduction might at first seem silly and artificial, it will eventually help you make an introduction that sounds natural, confident and smooth.
And always remember rejection is not the end of the world. It happens. Some individuals may not respond to your introduction in the way you would like. If that takes place, don’t take it personally and just move on. As long as you maintain an outgoing and friendly attitude, you can plan for continued networking success by keeping a healthy sense of humor and treating everyone as you would want to be treated. Aside from this being the courteous thing to do, you don’t know who might be helpful to you in the future.
So be an adventurer! Get out of your office and make some new connections. It could be the start of something big.
Important Chamber dates: Dec. 8 ¬– Crescenta Valley Canteen; Dec. 14 – Business mixer at American Legion & VFW.
Please contact our office for more details on any event. How to reach us: (818) 248-4957/ firstname.lastname@example.org / www.LaCrescenta.org / 3131 Foothill Blvd., Ste. D.