Networking: A Shaking-Hands-On Experience

Let’s be honest – networking is an integral part of all industries – corporate connections, entrepreneurship and the nonprofit ecosystem all rely on building relationships. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses when it comes to effective networking. I love a room full of (mostly) strangers, I also love to take a client or an intern with me and act as their wingman. However, I sometimes struggle with a quick follow-up unless I have a real reason to. (I’m working on this!)

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So my two biggest networking tips for my clients are:

  1. Know what you want out of the event and don’t be afraid to ask for what you need. Pick one type of connection or one thing you want to accomplish. Be specific and be bold in your quest for that one thing. Determine your goal before you walk in the door and ask someone to help you make that connection. (If you are nervous to make your own ask – bring someone with you and be each other’s wingman.) Example: I have a client who has an invention. He has created a full business plan, he has his patent, and he has a rustic metal prototype of the product. He needs a plastic prototype made. I invited him to attend the last Tercer Jueves for the Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce that took place at Armando’s Mexican Restaurant in Mexicantown because I knew that the ERGs (Employee Resource Groups) from most of the automotive companies were invited = lots of engineers with potential access to 3D Printers. I asked the hosts to help me make this connection and walked the room introducing him to engineers. We found two that said they had access to a 3D Printer and would try to help. (Cards were exchanged, fingers crossed!)
  2. Ask one or two open-ended questions. Pay close attention to what other people are saying and see how you can help them with whatever they need. I am frequently so bold as to ask: “What do you hope to get from today’s networking event? or Who do you want to meet tonight?” If you are able to do a quick introduction at the event itself – try to do so even if they didn’t ask. Examples of industry specific introductions: introduce a nonprofit leader to a potential funder, introduce a realtor to a mortgage broker or someone who mentions moving/relocating, introduce someone who is job hunting to a staffing agent or a manager in their field.

So there are my secrets for being a professional “connector”. It’s not rocket science, it’s really about knowing what you want and listening to see if you can help others get what they want. Win-Win!

If you are looking for more tips and a “Shaking-Hands-On” Workshop attend this Ted-X style interactive workshop  at the Farmington Chamber on May 29th at 4:30pm or join us for the BRIDGE Bilingual Networking Event and Business Expo.

The PCI BRIDGE Model – Bilingual Entrepreneurship Series

We’re excited to launch a the PCI BRIDGE Model program in collaboration with other immigrant and small business support groups.

The Bilingual Entrepreneurship Series will launch at the Greater Farmington Area Chamber of Commerce in both Spanish and English  (Se lanza el programa de emprendimiento bilingüe en español e inglés.)

Business Model Canvas (Modelo de Negocio)

Resources (Recursos)

Interactive (Interactivo)

Discovery (Descubrimiento)

Growth (Crecimiento)

Entrepreneurship (Emprendimiento)

Find out more about the content of the small business series and register on the eventbrite links below:

REGISTER TODAY!
businessworkshopseries2.eventbrite.com

En español:

¡Reserva tu lugar HOY!      
Haz Clic Aquí: emprendedores-serie1.eventbrite.com

El Modelo BRIDGE, impulsado por Puente Cultural Integration, fue diseñado para estabilizar o hacer crecer un negocio establecido o para lanzar una idea de negocio. Todo tipo de negocio es bienvenido: locales, tiendas con ventas al público, restaurantes, artesanos o contratistas, negocios de servicios o asesores. El emprendimiento no es para todo el mundo, pero los que desembarcan en esta aventura tienen que prepararse. Diferente a los cursos tradicionales de planificación de negocio, esta serie de talleres ayudará a que los propietarios identifiquen su “¿por qué?” y aún más importante, saldrán con un análisis financiero completo para saber cuál es el punto de salir al ras para que aseguren un negocio rentable. Cada semana tendrán un Plan de Acción para adelantar su negocio, paso a paso, mientras cruzamos el PUENTE hacia el Emprendimiento.

Los expertos presentarán temas:

  • mercadeo
  • análisis financiero
  • contabilidad
  • responsabilidades legales
  • impuestos
  • asesoría individual por parte de mentor / asesor(a) de negocio.

El resultado de esta primera etapa del programa BRIDGE será un Modelo de Negocio completo y un entendimiento de su estado financiero para que puedan tomar decisiones informadas en cuestión del futuro de su negocio. Más importante, les proveeremos las herramientas y recursos para que sus ideas se realicen – comenzando el primer día. ¡Empecemos!

Somos miembros orgullosos y agradecemos el apoyo de
la Red Global Mx – Capítulo Detroit y de la Cámara de Comercio de Farmington. 

We are appreciative of the support and we’re proud members of
Red Global Mx and the Greater Farmington Area Chamber of Commerce. 

Red Global Logo  Farmington Chamber logo

 

 

 

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