I will be honest, when I first started at the NACC I was terrified of networking. While I am very outgoing in a small group or one on one environment, there was just something about walking into a room of 75-100 people I didn’t know that made my heart race and my palms sweat. All it took was attending a few events and making some great contacts that I knew I could lean on for help and I was off to the races.
If you are like me, and networking is not really your cup of tea (yet) I would love to offer a few tips and tricks that I have learned along the way:
- Go into each networking meeting with a goal: Plan on meeting at least three people. Once you have met those three people you can leave. Keeping your goal to something small and attainable so that you aren’t overwhelmed is key.
- Lean on the staff for guidance: Most events that you will attend you will see at least two staff members present. Don’t be afraid to ask us to help make a connection for you. The best question I am asked at events is “Who should I be talking to here?”
- Don’t go into the event just to pass out business cards: Relationship building is a huge part of networking in the NACC. People want to know you and trust you before doing business with you.
- Follow up, follow up, follow up! If you take someone’s business card, follow up with them the next day. Schedule a coffee meeting to learn who their target market is and tell them who yours is. You would be surprised at how impactful those meetings can be with someone that you think could never give you business. You are expanding your circle of influence.
- Look into focusing in smaller group settings if large networking events aren’t your thing: join a TEAM, attend a Business Power Hour, or come check out an Ambassadors meeting.
- Arrive ten minutes early to Business After Hours: at every Business After Hours, I arrive early to meet all of my new members and introduce them to a few Ambassadors to make some connections prior to the crowd showing up. Meet us there!
As always, we are here to support you and make sure your NACC journey is successful. Don’t ever hesitate to reach out to me, Suzie, or Danielle if you need a familiar face at an event. Jessica Hall, Director of Membership & Sales, Jhall@naperville.net, Suzie Pschirrer, Executive Member Engagement, Spschirrer@naperville.net, Danielle Blake, Member Engagement, Dblake@naperville.net.