Top 7 Ways Holistic Networking Will Expand Your Business Circle
By Karen Carnabucci
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Networking refers to your connections to people in your professional and personal world. The larger the network, the more opportunities you have to share your work and beliefs, talk about your businesses and find referrals, resources, information and encouragement.
Among the most daunting of tasks: those times when we enter events such as mixers, open houses, club meetings, awards events and community functions where we know very few or no people. Here are some tips:
- Notice the people you're drawn to. Trust your instincts regarding what people you notice and who seems to catch your eye in the crowd. The way someone dresses, his or her level of energy, even the expression on his or her face may draw you to learn more about that person.
- Develop a range of simple questions that are related to your business or occupation. Perhaps you are experiencing a small problem in your work; the networking event is an ideal time to seek out solutions or resources. Are you looking for a new long distance phone company? Trying to decide where to advertise? Or seeking good accountant or graphic designer?
- Begin your question with, "Do you know someone who
" and this may help you meet more people in addition to getting help in solving your problem.
- If you have the opportunity to introduce yourself to a lot of people, practice varying your "spiel" with each person so that you don't say the same thing twice. Your words will stay fresh, you will feel more energy and you may find new connections and topics to talk about even among people whom you have met before.
- It's OK to eavesdrop. Our energy ebbs and flows, and it's all right to take a break from talking to just listen, breathe and pause. If you notice a twosome or cluster of people talking with animation, stroll over to check out what's so interesting. Listen and ponder. You may be surprised to know what you can learn by listening.
- Volunteer to fill a particular role or task for an organization or club where you are a member. The task such as greeter, survey taker or chairperson of a committee will give you specific reasons to meet new people while you're helping the organization.
- Make sure you bring your business cards to exchange. Follow up on your most interesting contacts later with meetings, e-mails or phone calls.
Karen Carnabucci is a creativity consultant, psychotherapist and coach in Racine, Wis., offering professional development programs and one-to-one mentoring, with a focus on doing business from a whole person perspective, and the author of "Whole Person Marketing." See http://www.companionsinhealing.com for more about Karen, her directory of resources for holistic health professionals and her free e-newsletter, Whole Person Practice.
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Article Submitted On: November 14, 2004