My first ever networking event was in January 2008 top floor of a local pub in Shrewsbury.

How did I feel?

Nervous, heart beating I tried to be inconspicuous, sat at the back of the room and tried not to
make eye contact…..feeling like a child with the I can’t see you – you can’t see me attitude. I
left as soon as it finished not daring to stay a while longer and actually speak to anyone!!

What did I achieve?

I left feeling really disappointed in myself, kicking myself why was I so nervous after all we
are all ladies in business I bet half the room was feeling the same way but they didn’t give up!
So I set about how to get the most out of networking and build on my confidence.

Before the event

• Research who is likely to be attending
• Get your pitch right short, sharp and to the point
• Take your business cards
• Notepad and pen
• Smile
• Look professional and presentable
• Start off small don’t sign up to too many events

On the day

• Name badge on the right
• Confident
• Put your hand out, introduce yourself
• Find a common interest: kids, school, holidays, activities etc
• Mirror body language
• Seek out the hosts they will introduce you to someone in the room who will put you at ease
• You’re there to make new contacts so listen make notes of any interesting points to refer
back to at a later date
• You’ll get chance to pitch so use this time to build friendships
• Don’t push your business or products, people buy from people

After the event

• Obtain a list of attendees
• Make contact – business cards
• Email – lovely to meet you…sorry I didn’t get chance to talk to you
• Twitter engage in conversation

• Facebook ‘like’ their business page. If yours a personal or business account make sure there is nothing on there that would be deemed inappropriate

• Linkedin – invite to connect. Connect with other group members. Send a message of
thanks remember you are not just building numbers

I’m now a member of several networking groups and I’m know for my smile and friendly
personable approach……what a turnaround!!!

I’ve since built up a strong network and will continue to do so. Many of the networking ladies
have become good friends and I’m often invited to some great events.

Never give up and don’t ever feel after one meeting you haven’t made it because you didn’t
make a sale it takes much more than one meeting.

Pick up those business cards from your contacts you may not have what they are looking for
today and visa versa but I can guarantee someone in your network will at some point be
looking for their services and there is no better feeling than someone recommending

Connect with me:
Jenny Osborne
Twitter: @henshalls

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