I feel like the networking events I go to are superficial. People swap business cards and never hear from one another. What am I missing? How can I get past the superficial networking and make valuable connections? – Melissa in Davenport, Iowa
Well, Melissa, if all you are doing is swapping business cards, then you are missing out. First, choose your events wisely. Does the event speak to your interests, passions, or values? If not, skip it. At the events you do attend, have your elevator pitch and conversation starter questions ready. Listen and find commonalities and new ideas that ignite a spark. Create the opportunity to lay the foundation of a genuine relationship. Then exchange business cards. After the event, follow up! And soon! Remind your new contact when and where you met and perhaps include a snippet of the conversation or topic. Thank them for speaking with you. Connect on LinkedIn or similar platforms, continue to check in, and meet for coffee or lunch to further your budding relationship.
Lynn Whitbeck is the co-founder and President of Petite2Queen. She is focused on identifying and evaluating opportunities for women at work, helping them define their personal roadmap. She dedicates herself to delivering tools and insights, embracing visualization of the big picture, and identifying and implementing the minutiae of detail. Lynn aims to share lessons learned along her journey and enable positive uplift for women.