The November luncheon featured Myra McElhaney, an accomplished author, speaker, and workshop presenter. Myra’s philosophy is “Enjoy Life and Do Good!” She helps people to work with purpose, live with passion, and make a difference.
Myra started us thinking with her table discussion question: “What’s your biggest challenge in networking?” Then, in her informative and entertaining presentation, she advised us of her top five dos and don’ts for effective networking.
- Know your purpose. When you go to an event, be clear about why you are there and what you plan to accomplish. Networking is all about building relationships, not gathering business cards. So, focus on connecting, not collecting.
- Network wherever you are. People do business with people they know, like, and trust. In other words, leverage the relationships you already have.
- Earn the right to request. Only ask for favors after making deposits in a person’s emotional bank account. It is a mistake to ask someone you’ve never met before to do you a favor. Myra gave some stunning examples of the presumptuousness of this particular networking faux-pas.
- Get people to ask more about you. Start your personal introduction with an intriguing brand statement that inspires people to want to know more. For example, “I help people enjoy life and do good” is likely to get some questions that allow for further explanation.
- Follow up. You increase your chances of being remembered and recommended when you continue your conversation by following up after the networking event ends. Also, make sure the signature line in your correspondences says what you do.
These helpful takeaways are a sure sign that Myra knows what she’s talking about and has something to teach us. Some of her workshops, such as Networking Best Practices, go deeper into this important subject.
By Nancy J Thompson, Portman Holdings