CHIC-CEO NYC LAUNCH
I had such a great time attending the Chic-CEO launch into the NYC Market on Wednesday June 13th, 2012 at the Sanctuary Hotel’s Rooftop hideaway, Haven. With photos taken by Guest of a Guest. I met a host of wonderful ladies with style, smarts, and professional savvy.
Fourth Photo: Chic-CEO gift bag
Fifth Photo: Chic-CEO signage and petite red velvet cupcakes.
What I’m Learning About The Art of Networking:
I have always been an introvert and silence rejuvenates me. I am also a social butterfly when I have gained enough battery life to keep moving but since I run on such a small battery, I often have to find quick moments to take time out and to restore myself.
At the Chic-Ceo event, I started slow with introducing myself to people surveying the alpha female landscape. I spoke with a few individuals one-on-one and realized that everyone there was just as timid and perhaps a bit self-conscious in one way or another. So I ventured out of my comfort zone with some prodding from my new Mary-Kay friend and began introducing myself to girls huddled in groups. If life begins at the end of your comfort zone then I was off the reservation and it felt great. So here are some additional tips that I learned:
1. Everyone is nervous or a bit inhibited until the free drinks hit so if you’re not a drinker, then you must move past your nerves and jump in introducing yourself and enjoying yourself.
2. Listen. Listen. Listen. People love to talk about themselves, their personal and professional lives, and they often say many interesting things that give you insight into their dreams, desires, likes, and dislikes. I love introducing people that I just met to other people that I meet…especially if they are in the same room and can benefit from one another’s services. I did this a few times and a young lady–that I met at the event named Deirdre–mentioned that I’m really good at connecting people.
She said “I have watched you do this several times throughout the course of the evening. You’re really good at this. Perhaps you should be a professional connector.”
My response, “This doesn’t appear to be anything special to me. I think everyone is great at connecting people.”
Her response, “No” as she humorously shook her head.
I think I will take Deirdre’s advice. She’s a smart cookie.
3. Bow Out Gracefully if you get bored or don’t seem to be connecting with someone or a group. The best way I have learned to bow out–and have observed others doing–is to stir your drink, listen, and excuse yourself by saying “Wow! that’s interesting. Say "so-and-so, I think my drink needs a touch up. I’m going to head to the bar for a refill. It’s been really great speaking with you."
4. Remember Names! It is important to remember names even when people are wearing name badges. If you can’t remember a name then honesty is always the best policy. I have learned to pick out something physically interesting about a person or pick out something that interests me about their character and use that to remember their name. For instance, you can use an adjective such as "Cheerful Connie” or a physical mind note such as “Yellow-Dressed Bridget.” This is particularly important cause at the end of the evening when you say your goodbye’s, you want to address each person by name.
5. Followup. Followup. Followup. I’m not the best at following up a day later or even two days later. Sometimes, I get so bogged down with priorities that I overlook the importance of following up. But it is vital to followup as soon as you can. Send an email letting them know how great it was to meet them at “XYZ” event and mention something that stood out about the conversation between the two of you. The best aspect about following up is meeting your contacts outside of the networking arena. In this fashion, your guard is down, their guard is down, and the two of you are more relaxed and can begin on the road toward a mutually beneficial professional–and oftentimes friendly–relationship.
Hope this was helpful. Until next time…