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Ask the Fedora: Follow Up With Everyone After a Networking Event!

This week on Ask the Fedora: Follow Up With Everyone After a Networking Event!

Transcript:

Welcome to another exciting episode of Ask The Fedora. I’m your host, Jarrod Goldsmith.

Let’s say you’re at a networking event, but you met someone a month ago, but you forgot to follow up with them. Go up to them! Say to them, “Hi … We met at the last event and I’m really sorry, but I haven’t had a chance to follow up with you. Can we still go for coffee?” At least acknowledge that you didn’t have the time to meet with them. This is a good exercise – take the time to follow up with everyone you’ve met, even if you’re not sure you’d do business with them. If you forget it make for an embarrassing conversation next time, but suck it up.

Thanks for watching. Happy Networking!

Do you have questions about networking? Tweet us at @Askthefedora.

See you next time!

Do you have a networking question you’d like to ask? Email info (at) esax.ca or tweet your question using #eSAX!

Starring: Jarrod Goldsmith of eSAX and Sax Appeal.

With help from Wasim from Storyline Productions

Networking Is Building Friendships

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When you are just start out with a new business, you’ll find yourself eager to talk about your products or services all the time. It can be easy to overlook the fact that a successful business needs a solid foundation, made up of strong businesses and people who support you. The more people know you, and know about your business, the better the prospects for your business will be, but it is a two-way street. You must show interest in other people and their businesses, and you must be ready to support them as well. Networking is beneficial for both the parties and thus it is nothing but friendship!

Friendships take time to bloom

You COULD choose to meet someone at a networking event, and not engage with them again until the next one, but that would not lead to successful relationships. Think back to when you were in school. You didn’t consider yourself to be “friends” with the person you only saw in your 3rd period class. Your friends were the ones that you ate lunch with, and participated in extracurriculars, and went to the mall after school, and planned your next year’s schedule. If you want a strong relationship to come out of networking, you have to do the extra time. Have follow-up coffee chats, or check-in to see if the other person is planning on going to another upcoming event. 

When you meet any unknown person you do not become friends immediately. You take your time, meet with them for several times, find out what qualities is there in them that attracts you towards them and then you start relying on them. This is true in networking too. In networking once you meet any person you keep their contact, and then start to follow up with them. Of course, here you do that for prospering your business, but in the process, you make friends who stay with you for the long run.

Use events for making friends and grow your network

Anyone who considers themselves a friend to another knows that friendship is just not waste of time. You create something with people who, in the long run, help you in different ways to make your life happier and more fulfilled. Similarly, by meeting people for networking in events like eSAX you get a chance to create a long-term business relationship. However, no one will rely on you if you are only ever asking for something. Instead, you need to give something. Gradually you will find that people will develop faith in you and follow what you are saying, just like in a friendship!

Thus, networking is nothing but an activity that builds friendships, where you make friends who become helpful for spreading the word about your business. However, you have to maintain the relationship or else you will not get results!

 Be sure to get your tickets to the next eSAX Ottawa networking event!

Networking and Job Interviewing: A Comparison

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The idea of “networking” is by no means a new one, but the term has gained popularity recently. The process of building relationships through many interactions has been a part of our human history. It is important for people to feel they know you and can trust you before they commit to a deal, and this is part of why we network.

Many new entrepreneurs may come from the traditional workforce, and while they may not be familiar with the concept of networking, they may be familiar with job interviews.  This process of asking position candidates about their skills and experience helps an employer choose the best person from a pool of people.

Short conversations

At both networking events and job interviews, time is of the essence. You must be aware of how much you are talking, and take care not to talk too much. At a networking event, the goal is to listen, and to spend time with more than one person. At a job interview, you must be concise so the interviewer can move on to the next question. In both cases, if you talk too much you may end up losing a great opportunity because the other party had to move on.

Selling yourself

In both situations, you are selling yourself. Your appearance matters, so you must dress cleanly and appropriately. Your word choice, eye contact, and body language also matter. The impression you make in your appearance and your conversation is all you have to make or break a deal. Of course, networking events allow you the chance for a do-over, if worst comes to worst.

Trust matters

In this short amount of time (in both cases) you must give off the impression that you are a trustworthy person. You must be honest, authentic and sincere and establish the ground that you will build a relationship on over a long period of time. Even if you think that a little white lie might go unnoticed, it’s not worth the risk of them knowing the truth and judging you as untrustworthy.

Mutual contract

Networking is a mutual contract wherein two professional shares their experience for mutual benefit, it’s just not a business deal. Job interviewing too is a mutual contract but it is made between the two parties wherein one shares their skills and experiences and other pay for the skills shared. You should be just as respectful in one situation as in the other. 

While some may never erase their nerves in a job interview, the best way to erase them at networking events is to practice! Be sure to get your tickets to the next eSAX Ottawa networking event!

How to Learn Names When Networking

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Networking is all about dealing with people, and if you can remember people by name, half your work is done. Remembering names makes others feel as though you value them, which is exactly how you want to treat your relationship with them.

Remembering names can be an especially big challenge at events such as eSAX: the Entrepreneur Social Advantage Experience, where more than 300 people show up. It’s hard to remember that many names! Luckily, everyone gets a name tag, but if you want to go that extra mile and remember names on your own, we have some tips for you!

Get it at the first chance

Sometimes we get so enchanted by someone’s business, that we forget their name as soon as they’ve said it. Make a point to re-ask their name, and then repeat the name and use it a few times in the conversation you are having. This will give you a better chance of remembering it later on, since you are associating that name with their face.

Make a note

After your conversation, make a note on their business card of any characteristics that will help you to connect the name with the face for next time. “Purple glasses” perhaps, or any other noteworthy aspect of their appearance. If they don’t have a business card, it’s even more important for you to write down their information (remember to always have note paper with you!) That way you can spell out their name, and listing to this spelling sends a virtual image to your brain to help you remember it.

Associate

It may sound silly, but sometimes a great way to remember a name is to associate it with something else that is familiar. For example, if you meet someone named Lucy and she has red hair, it would be easy to associate her with the “I Love Lucy” TV show. When you see her next time you’ll think “Red hair… I Love Lucy… her name is Lucy!”

Use social networking

The best way to remember names is to add them to your networks online. If you add them on LinkedIn, you are almost sure to see their photo in their profile and then remember what they look like. The more active you are on social media, and the more you engage with them, the more likely you will be to remember their name next time you meet, in-person, again.

Choose to care

Finally, to remember names you must be eager to remember them. If you are not interested in remembering the name, nothing in this world will help you do so. Care about the person and their name name and you will find it on your tongue next time when you meet the person.

Practice calling people by their name at each event, and make sure to get your tickets to the next eSAX Ottawa networking event!

Break the Ice at Networking Events

eSAX-Ottawa-Networking-Event (1)When you attend eSAX or any other Ottawa entrepreneur networking event, your goal shouldn’t be to just collect business cards.

These events are the place that you are building rapport that will establish long-term relationships that lead to future opportunities for both involved parties. It takes a good deal of time and effort to cultivate, but it all starts with the initial ice breaking at the first meeting!

How can you set yourself up for the perfect icebreakers?

Change your mindset

No matter how fantastic your opening line might be, it will fall flat if your heart isn’t in it. Be positive and be on the lookout for the diamond in the rough. This means, don’t walk in and decide there is no one good to talk to. Have your mind set on meeting anyone unknown and starting as meaningful a conversation as you would with someone you knew could set you up with a million dollar deal. Treating people this way will make people feel pleased to speak with you.

Mind your appearance

Your appearance, which includes your apparel and your body language, tells others a lot about you. Be business-appropriate in what you wear, and always make sure to have a smile on your face. Don’t forget to use eye contact when talking with others, and avoid crossing your arms.

Ask a mutual acquaintance for help

To start a conversation with an unknown person, you can ask any mutual friend or acquaintance to introduce you. This works perfect if you see someone you already know speaking to someone you don’t already know. Walk up and say hello to your friend and ask them to introduce you.

Directly introduce yourself

If you want to meet someone and you don’t have a mutual friend to do the introduction, you will have to just gather your nerves, focus your confidence, and go right over and say hello. It’s always best to start with your name, and asking them their name and what they do. Remember to hold off on shoving your business card in their face. People want to talk first, exchange cards later. The same goes for your elevator pitch. You want to do introductions first and not just spit out the pitch at them.

Wondering what to talk about if you can’t just talk about what you are selling? Try these:

  • How did you hear about this event?
  • Did you travel far to get here?
  • Have you been to this event before?
  • What TV shows are you into?
  • Do you know many people here? Who?
  • What is the most exciting project you are working on right now?
  • Bonus: “How did you meet Jarrod” (at an eSAX event) OR “Do you know Jarrod?” (at any event around town, as he will undoubtedly be in attendance!)

Ask open-ended questions that show you are interested in the person you are talking with. This is the key to starting a good business relationship.

Breaking the ice becomes easier with practice. Don’t forget to get your tickets to the next eSAX Ottawa networking event so you can make sure to keep practicing your networking skills and building up relationships!

Start Networking Like A Pro

By Jarrod Goldsmith

“I hate networking events”.

How many times have you heard this or said it yourself?

For most people, the concept of networking conjures up images of a scary, slimy and fake experience with everyone in the room trying to hawk their products and services.

We’ve likely all met someone who barely says hello before launching into their ‘sales-pitch’ with something like: “I do this, that and the other thing, I’m so great and you need my services”.

Really?

When I hear this the first thing that comes to mind is that the person is obviously a networking rookie. Often I’ll stop them in mid-sentence and ask them a simple question like what’s their name. Seems harmless enough right? After a second or two of awkward silence while they compose themselves (having lost their place in their memorized sales-pitch), I introduce myself and extend a hand in greeting. So as to not make them feel embarrassed, I then ask another harmless question such as if they have attended this particular event before, do they know the organizer, what part of town do they live in etc.

You’d be amazed at how people ‘open-up’ by just having a regular conversation without bringing-up business. Asking non work-related questions will make people feel more relaxed and comfortable. But never forget you must be absolutely genuine in wanting to know the answers as people everywhere have an uncanny knack of seeing-through-fake. Check out this short Ask The Fedora video for some good questions to ask when meeting people for the first time.

Always maintain eye-contact and do not scan the room looking for other people to meet while in the middle of a conversation with someone. At that moment, make them the most important person in the word.

To provide an example, I was at an Ottawa Chamber of Commerce Mayors Breakfast a while ago and had the chance to chat with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. When Mr. Trudeau is engaged with talking to you, he makes you feel as if you’re the only one in the room by giving you his undivided attention, not to mention his welcoming body language of legs apart, often on a slight angle facing you, head tilted forward and hands at his side or lightly clasped in front of him (pictured)

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson (Far right) Justin Trudeau (2nd from right) Jarrod Goldsmith (Far left)

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson (Far right)
Justin Trudeau (2nd from right)
Jarrod Goldsmith (Far left)

Next time you’re at a networking event, try a few of the above tips and start networking like a pro. Doing so may very well change not only your outlook on networking, but how others view you.

For more networking tips, check out the weekly Ask The Fedora videos on YouTube!

What People Want To Know About You When Networking

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Networking events provide a great opportunity to chat with other business people that you don’t get to see that often, but it’s important to remember that time is limited and we shouldn’t take up too much of any one person’s time.

With that in mind, what are some things to focus on? What are the things that people really want to know from you at each event?

What’s new

Any new projects, partnerships, or ventures? As a business connection, people don’t want to hear your latest sales pitch, but they do want to know what you are doing and where you are focusing your energy, so they can recommend potential clients your way when they come up. Don’t overwhelm them with information, just give them the highlights of what you’ve been up to since you last saw them.

Who to meet

Is there anyone new to the business scene that they should meet? Perhaps you just met someone who has an awesome new startup, or you met someone new to town at a previous event that your connection should meet. People appreciate you helping them to expand their network with quality business people. These light referrals give you bonus points in both person’s eyes. If it ends up being a lucrative connection, they may be especially thankful and remember you even more in the future.

What’s coming up

Make sure to mention to your connection what events are coming up that you are attending. People always appreciate learning about a new event, and spreading the word will help the event to gather the greatest entrepreneurs in Ottawa. Be sure to mention where they can get tickets, if necessary, and tell them where you heard of it. Lots of times new events spring up and it takes word of mouth to get them up and running.

Where’s the food

If all else fails and you can’t think of what to talk about, mention the food! Point out where the drinks are, or where the food is (this works especially well if there are roaming servers with trays). It may be a small talk, but it’s better than nothing. Not all conversations have to be deep to be meaningful! You can parlay talk about the event’s food into talk about restaurants in town, new recipes, cooking shows, and more. Be creative!

The continued connections that you make with people are what really counts. Keep your relationships going by purchasing your tickets to the next eSAX Ottawa networking event!

The Principles of Networking

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Networking doesn’t come naturally to everyone right away. People get better and better at networking with practice, and with learning all they can to become better networkers. If you ask people for tips on networking, they may all give you different answers. Different things work for different people, but there are some underlying principles that will work for pretty much everyone.

#1: Don’t sell

Networking is about getting to know people, not about making sales. Don’t feel as though the night was not successful if you did not make a deal, and don’t write people off if you don’t think they are going to buy from you. Relationships on their own are valuable, getting to be known in the Ottawa business community is valuable, and you never know who may end up knowing someone who DOES want to buy from you!

#2: Listen

There is no better way to exhaust yourself than to run from person to person at an event, blasting out your elevator pitch at full steam. It’s also a good way to annoy others. Practice listening, not just nodding while you plan what you are going to say next. Process what people are saying, and make an attempt to remember it for the next time you see them. 

#3: Value people

As networking isn’t about sales, you should have some real interest in people, and not just what they can do for you. Each person you meet has a unique story: where they came from, how they got started, and what makes them a success. You can value them for the advice they may give, or for the valuable market research potential they provide (when you ask them about their pain points and if they feel your product or service would be beneficial to them).

#4: Be prepared to give

If you don’t ask, you may never receive, but what’s more important is for you to be ready to help others. If someone asks you for something, or even if you sense that people may take you up on an offer, you could end up being a hero for lending a helping hand. This doesn’t mean you have to give out free products or services, but it may mean that you lead them to a good new connection, or give them a tip or advice that they need. Gradually you will find that you are reciprocated with the statement: “Now how can I help you?”

#5: Be approachable

We talk about facial expressions and body language all the time. It is important to smile and be relaxed so that people feel comfortable walking up to you and saying hello. Being approachable is also about the conversations you have with others. If people see that you are easy to talk to, they will be more likely to introduce themselves.

#6: Think outside the event

Think networking only happens four times a year, at each eSAX event? It’s a nice thought, but networking can happen anytime, anywhere. You may see someone in the grocery store that you met at an event, and you’ll have to remember that relationship-building is a continuous process. Always be “on-brand”, which means that you always want to be a good representation of yourself and your business. 

#7: Be trustworthy

Relationships are based on trust, which means successful networking requires you to be a most trustworthy person. Be genuine, authentic, and sincere in all you say and do to establish yourself as a trustworthy person. Anything else will undermine your efforts and undo all the hard networking you’ve done.

 

Concentrate on these principles of networking, and make sure to get your tickets to the next eSAX Ottawa networking event!

Shy People and Networking

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It is all about meeting new people at different Ottawa entrepreneur networking events. If you are a business owner, you know that it is important to share your business with others. Therefore, the more you meet with new people, the better your opportunity to harness those contacts becomes. However, many people are introverted they find mingling with people to be quite a challenge. So, the question becomes: should I force myself out to networking events or not?

The answer is simple: Yes, you should get out to events! Shy people can be just as successful at networking, if not more so. Since they are more attuned for listening, they end up being the exact type of person that others like to talk to.  Now, just follow these tips to get rid of hesitation, and start on your way to successful networking!

Have no fear

Do you allow the label of “introvert” or “shy” be your excuse for not attending events? Perhaps you should take another look at what is stopping you. In many cases, introverts function very well in situations, so long as they know what to expect. If you are unsure of what is going to happen, or what is expected of you, this may be what is holding you back. Don’t let fear be the reason you aren’t getting started on building your business. See if you can find a friend (especially one that is extroverted or already knowledgeable about the event) who will buddy up with you to help you gain confidence. Practice going to events, and observe what others do. You’ll soon get over your fear.

Make your presence felt

Once you’ve finally decided to attend an event, don’t make the mistake of being a wallflower. It doesn’t count as successful networking if you aren’t interacting with others. If you are just absorbing the stories of others and collecting business cards, they will probably not remember you when you follow up. Make yourself engage in two-way conversations with people. Share interesting facts about yourself and your business. You may not win over everyone, but you’ll win over no one if you don’t put yourself out there.

Use technology

We are lucky to live in a day-and-age where social networking is an available tool to help us to build and strengthen our networks. If you tend to be shy in person, perhaps you can use Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn to engage with others more frequently. Check out event pages, and make sure to follow the people you would like to get to know better. Make meaningful comments, and respond if they talk to you. You may still be nervous to talk to them in person, but it will help you to feel a bit more confident.

Smile

When we are nervous, our face and body language can reveal it to others. It’s important to make an effort to smile and try to put ourselves at ease. It might be a challenge, but it is worth it because otherwise you could be repelling people. Turn on your smile to invite people to talk with you.

Attend events

If you are shy and you want to overcome it for networking, getting out there is your best bet. Attending frequent events will help you to meet with like-minded people that you really enjoy interacting with, and it will also help you to overcome your shyness.

The more you get out there, the more comfortable you will become in these situations. Don’t forget to get your tickets to the next eSAX Ottawa networking event so you get regular practice!

What Is An Entrepreneur?

eSAX-Ottawa-Networking-Event (10)Entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes, colors and genders, and they run small businesses to huge businesses. Some have been in business for decades, and others may have just started. You might be able to look at someone and know that they label themselves as an entrepreneur, but what really makes someone an entrepreneur? 

Someone who takes risks

You may have started your own business to sell pancakes in your local area. You are not employed by anyone and you are doing things yourself to earn profit. You have the option to sell these pancakes to other stores to sell, out of a food truck, or maybe in your own restaurant. So, are you an entrepreneur?

The answer is: yes. When you decide to take the risk of putting your time, money, and energy into making an endeavor work, you are adopting the entrepreneur mindset. It’s all about going out of your comfort zone to make things possible. You might figure that it doesn’t seem that risky because you live around people who know you and love your pancakes and have been asking you to sell them for a long time. Just because you are starting out at low-risk doesn’t mean you won’t have the opportunity to expand and take on more risk, and it doesn’t mean you are immune to market trends and changes (such as a new breakfast restaurant opening on your corner).

Someone with innovative ideas

In the grand scheme of things, it can be relatively simple to create a business plan, gain some startup cash, hire a few folks, and have a business up and running. However, the one thing that sets a good business (and a great entrepreneur) apart from the rest is how innovative their ideas are. In the pancake example above, the business will only succeed if you are doing something that no one else has thought of, or if your pancakes are somehow special. An entrepreneur’s business won’t survive if they are just a carbon copy of something else, or if they are unable to adapt when competition comes around.

 

Entrepreneurship is all about dreaming up something new and converting those dreams to reality. When you attend Ottawa Entrepreneur Networking Events you will meet many people who have such dreams, and you can speak to them about how they are fighting to make those dreams true.

Someone who sees opportunity and harnesses it

An entrepreneur is one who can see what others overlook. They will find out what can be profitable, work to make it successful and make profit out of it. They may start a totally new venture or change an unsuccessful business with their vision to a successful one. They have faith in themselves and their hard work and can chase anything to realize what they think to be profitable. They know the importance of manpower and utilize it for reaping profits.

If you are an entrepreneur, or thinking about becoming one, don’t forget to get your tickets to the next eSAX Ottawa networking event! You’ll meet many other entrepreneurs, and get on your way to developing a quality business network.