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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

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!

Shy People and Networking

eSAX-Ottawa-Networking-Event (3)

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!

Ask the Fedora: Networking Skills Can Be Learned, Don’t Worry!

This week on Ask the Fedora: Networking Skills Can Be Learned, Don’t Worry!

Transcript:

As a new entrepreneur everyone says you have to do networking. But you may be saying to yourself “I hate networking and I don’t like talking to people because everything they say is a sales pitch and I’m going to be sold sold sold”. Well, if you don’t network, you’re not going to have any work. It’s something to learn. They call it a networking skill; The more you go the better you get. A few years ago when I was just starting-out, I would tell everybody my ‘elevator pitch’….”oh you need me, I’m so great blah blah blah”. I soon realized that maybe this wasn’t the best way to approach things. As a new entrepreneur you have to go through this process and see what works best for you and your company. There are always going to be people who look at you funny, but there are others who will buy-into what you’re doing. Whatever happens, keep going to the events as it’s something you need to do in order to be in business in five years from now. Keep the networking up, and if it doesn’t come naturally, it will. Don’t worry. Take a deep breath.

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 and Jessica from Hewett Ripley Communications!

Ask The Fedora: Why You Should Love Your Business Cards

You want to be absolutely confident about your business, and part of that means being confident when you hand out your business cards. If don’t feel ready, don’t give them out. Jarrod explains more in this week’s #AskTheFedora!

Transcript:

Congratulations on finally getting your business cards in the mail! NOW we’re ready to start networking. If you really love your business cards, you’re going to really love giving them out to people. If there are still a couple of tweaks you need to do to your business card I would say don’t give them out yet. For the first four versions of my business card I wasn’t so happy with them. When someone would ask for one, I always felt a bit shy which was not a very good first impression. I actually stopped giving business cards for a while until I had my fifth order of business cards. At that point I was so happy to promote my business because I absolutely loved the cards. When you’re creating your business cards, make sure they are perfect and then it will be a much easier opportunity to get your business known around town because of your awesome business cards. Happy networking everybody. See you at the next event. Because #eSAX makes networking work

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 and Jessica from Hewett Ripley Communications!

Ask the Fedora: What Business Cards Say About Your Business

How much effort did you put into making your business cards? Did you account for how much your card represents your brand in one tiny handout? Today’s #AskTheFedora explains what your business card may be saying about you!

Transcript:

Congratulations on starting your new business! As a startup, you may not have much money to put towards marketing and branding. However, you must have business cards. It’s normal to think that you’ll do everything yourself, including getting some fancy paper and printing business cards on your home printer. When you start giving them out, however, they may actually look like a home-made business card. Be wary of this since business cards are often the first impression people have of your business. It’s worthwhile to take the time and spend some extra money with a graphic designer and have them printed with a local printing company. Make sure they are the BEST business cards you can offer. This is important because as mentioned, business cards are often the very first impression, and last impression as people are going-through all the business cards they received at the end of the night. Yours has to stand-out. You want people to keep your business card rather than simply file it or throw it away. Take the time and spend the extra $50 on fancy gloss or whatever neat options you decide because it really is a representation of your professionalism and your business. Happy networking everybody. See you at the next event. Because #eSAX makes networking work

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 and Jessica from Hewett Ripley Communications!

Following-Up After A Networking Event – Yay or Nay?

The joys of following-up after a networking event – don’t count people out!

Transcript:

Why would you follow-up with someone you just met at an entrepreneur networking event if you know they will never need your products or services? If you don’t follow-up with every single person you met it’s very short-sighted because you never know where your referrals will come from. As an example, if you’re talking to someone and you know in a million years they will never contact you for business, but you might develop a really great relationship with this person. In the future if they are ever looking for your kind of service or product, or hear of anyone else looking for those items, you might be the first one they recommend. If somebody spends five minutes of their life talking to you at a networking event, spend the five minutes it takes to follow-up with them with something like this: “It was nice meeting you at the event last night and I really enjoyed our conversation. If you’d like to continue where we left-off over a coffee meeting it would be my pleasure to meet”.  This is so that you can start developing a relationship with that person. Always follow-up with somebody. It doesn’t matter if they may or may not be a good resource for you now because you never know what the future is going to bring. Happy networking everybody. See you at the next event. Because #eSAX makes networking work

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 and Jessica from Hewett Ripley Communications!

If You Hate Networking Watch This

Don’t write off networking if you want to do what is best to help your business succeed. If you are one of the networking “haters”, watch what Jarrod has to say to you!

Transcript:

You hate networking. It’s like pulling teeth trying to go to an event in order to sell your business. After many years of seeing literally thousands of people with all kinds of personality types go to networking events, I’d say you just have to go out there and connect with people in the community. If people don’t see your business, than where are they going to find you? It’s one thing to have the connections on social media (as it’s a very important part of marketing to have a great website, Facebook & Twitter accounts, YouTube videos etc), but nothing will ever beat the face to face part of networking. This is where people can get to see your personality and get to know more about YOU. If you don’t like networking, suck-it-up and start going to out some of the events to start practicing the networking because it will get easier the more people you introduce yourself to and you connect with. Happy networking everybody. See you at the next event. Because #eSAX makes networking work

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 and Jessica from Hewett Ripley Communications!

How To Find Networking Events

We all know about the amazing eSAX networking events, but how do you find other events to attend while you wait 3 months for each one?

Transcript:

Where do you find out about upcoming networking events? There are so many opportunities in every city to help encourage and promote entrepreneur networking. Get involved with a local Chamber of Commerce as they are always a great resource to find out about upcoming events. Go onto Meetup, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter or Google and type networking events in your city. Or you may wish to contact some of the well-known entrepreneurs in your area because they are probably very well-connected with other networking events that you may not have known about. Don’t stay home and wait for the networking events to come to you. You need to be proactive and find out what’s going on because in many cities there are so many networking events happening around town that you need to pick and choose which ones would be applicable for you and your business. So get out there and keep networking, because #eSAX makes networking work!

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 and Jessica from Hewett Ripley Communications!