How to network in person at a women’s networking event? This weekend while serving as a trainer and coach at Loral Langemeier’s 3 Days to Cash Workshop, I had several women entrepreneurs asking me about the art of networking. The scene at this workshop is like most workshops and women networking events and I’m sure you can imagine the scene …
The room is filled with 70 enthusiastic entrepreneurs, business woman and man. Each of them has a passion and desire to let others know about their business service or product. These entrepreneurs know that they only get one chance to make a first impression and they want to make that first impression one that lasts … for a good reason! People are engaged in conversations, one on one and small groups and there you are, looking for the perfect opportunity to catch that person when one conversation ends so you can swoop in and engage. You wait patiently in the background and that conversation goes on and on and on. You walk away and look for someone else to talk to, without success, and circle back only to find that the woman entrepreneur you were waiting for has already started to talk with someone else!
Would you like to learn how to gracefully become part of the conversation?
Would you like to know the secret to not having to wait in the wings until someone notices you?
How To Network In Person As A Woman Entrepreneur – Here you go!
- Ask if you can join their conversation! Rather than waiting for business women and men to end their conversation, come up and politely ask “May I join you?” When I offered this suggestion at the event this weekend I was met with “Really? I wouldn’t be interrupting? They won’t think I’m being rude?” And then we did some role playing. Each of the women entrepreneurs I practiced with were happy to include the new person in the conversation and at no time felt as if they were being intruded upon or thought that the person who wanted to join them was being rude. Remember, you’re at a mixed or women networking event and most of the business women and men there want to meet each other. If you want to find out how to network in person, just by asking to become part of their conversation will actually help all of you! And, if you’ve ever gotten ‘stuck’ with someone droning on and on and on and didn’t know how to remove yourself from the conversation, you will be extremely welcomed to the conversation by that person! (Ooops, did I say that out loud? See tip #3 on how to gracefully remove yourself from those scenarios.)
- Pay attention to the body language while you are networking. Take notice of the physical stance of two people who are talking. Most of the time you will see notice people at networking events standing at somewhat of an angle, which is an open stance that subtly says “Welcome, yes you can join us.” If, however, you see two people squarely in front of each other, face to face, rather than asking if you can join the conversation, you could gently tap one on the shoulder and say “Hi, I see you’re involved in a discussion right now, I’d love to speak with you when you’re done.” You’ll find that you will either be invited into the conversation or the person will let you know when they’ll be wrapping up.
- What to do when you feel ‘trapped’ when you are networking in person? We’ve all been there and probably, at some point, we’ve all done this too! If you find yourself no longer paying attention or losing interest in what the person is saying, follow these important guidelines. First, bring your attention back to the person you’re networking with. Sometimes it is our own mind wandering that distracts us and prevents us from fully engaging and listening to what the person is saying. Next, if after paying attention and really listening, you find that the conversation is too deep or not on point, simply say to the other person “You clearly have so much to share about your business” (or whatever it is they’re talking about) “I trust you’ll understand that right now I can’t really absorb all you’re sharing, perhaps we can do that another time.” — or — “I trust you’ll forgive me for needing to end our conversation now, I have several people I was to meet here tonight and I need to make sure there is time to meet all of them before the event ends.”
Of course, above all networking in person, remember to be The One who shows respect and adds value to all of your interactions. Embrace and embody The One Philosophy! Treat each person you meet as if they are The One … they just may be!
The One Philosophy: The Little Message With a Big Impact! Six Principles for Living The Way of The One. CLICK HERE NOW and get your copy today!