Networking is work! You need to take the time to sit down and review your networking strategies so that you can have a clean start this fall. Use what works well, improve on the mediocre, and clean out the unproductive. Jacksonville Women’s Small Business provides a number of opportunities to network. Check our calendar frequently to become aware of networking opportunities across Jacksonville.
Upcoming JWSB Events
Here are some points that you should keep in mind as you plan your networking strategy:
- Understand that networking is an investment. You cannot attend an event once and expect results. regular attendance allows people to know you and trust that you will provide the services that they need in a manner that they can trust.
- Be smart about your networking choices. Choose events that will use your time productively.
- Share your passion for what you do.
- Remember your business cards. Make your cards easy to read and memorable.
- Be early…. stay late. Early and late are the best times to meet people without the chaos of the formal meet and greet time.
- Always use your time well.
- Set goals for each networking event, group, meeting.
- Strategize before the event. Base your strategy on the type of event you are attending that day.
- Don’t get bogged down with one person or group of people. If the conversation lags, suggest a follow-up meeting. An event isn’t the time to have long discussions.
- Prepare an introduction for meet and greet time. Practice your introduction until you are comfortable.
- Always make eye contact!
- Dress for success.
- Watch alcohol consumption. Know that people are watching.
- If you will need to stand up and introduce yourself and your business, prepare your conversation beforehand and practice. Smile and remember to make eye contact with several people in the room as you are talking.
- Plan questions that you can use as icebreakers if conversation lags.
- Remember to focus on others, not on selling yourself.
- Introduce people. It is a great way to develop relationships.
- Wear a name tag. Place it on your left (other’s right) side and high up.
- Don’t stick to people you know. Initiate conversations with new people.
- Listen to people and respond to their conversation and emotions.
- Look for small bits of personal information that you can use in following conversations. People like to know you remembered things about them.
- Networking is not sales time. It is meet and converse time.
- Be observant. Look for the experienced networkers. Get to know them. Watch how they network and learn from them
- Networking takes practice. You will not be an expert from the beginning. If you are an experienced networker, help those who aren’t. You will develop new relationships and be remembered for your mentorship.
- Remember to follow-up
Upcoming JWSB Events