Entrepreneurs: Networking Success

Networking is a great way to get your business known in the local community, but there are some things to avoid as well.

Do: Dress for success. Even if you are a contractor, don’t go to a networking event with pitch on your hand and dirty, wrinkled clothes. Dress professionally. You don’t have to wear a 3-piece suit or formal dress, but wear clean, pressed clothes.

Don’t: Say you are nervous. Everyone already knows you are nervous if you are new, no need to say it. And, chances are, if you don’t say it nobody will notice that you are.

Do: Have your elevator pitch ready. The elevator pitch is a 30-60 second pitch on what you do. Not who you are. Nobody cares who you are until they know what you do. Find out more about elevator pitches here.

Don’t: Be a wall flower. This is tough for introverts. But, shake hands and do that small talk you dislike. Practice small talk before you get there and think of 4-5 things you can talk about. One hint: Look at the clothing of the other person. If you find something unusual, like earrings or silly socks, mention it. They will probably be happy to talk about it.

Do: Bring a lot of business cards. If 20 people are expected at the event, bring 40 business cards. And bring professional business cards. Keep cards in your vehicle also in case you forget to bring some.

Introverts: Find more networking and leadership tips in the book Leadership for Introverts.

introvert coach

Introverts: Interesting Conversation Starters to Alleviate Small Talk

Interesting conversation starters to alleviate small talk for Introverts

Small talk is the bane of introverts, and a skill that is a must have in social situations. Having conversation starters can mean the difference between that awkward silence that is only penetrated when someone joins in, or the two people just move on to different groups. That makes it difficult for a chance to find common interests so the two of you can start to engage in a meaningful dialog. The weather is usually not a good topic because it will not last long, unless you are talking about a storm. And, that may not be a good idea. Find uplifting conversation. See if you can (tastefully) compliment an article of clothing. Or inquire about family, but only if you are genuinely interested. Most people can spot when you are not being genuine, so find things that you really want to know about. One way to cheat, if you know beforehand that certain people will be at the event, is to check out their social media pages and see if you can find a common interest.
Contact me if you would like help being more social, or read my book Leadership for Introverts.

– Dr. Ty, Professional Life Coach