Kathy McAfee, Guest Author
It’s summer and that means BBQ’s, get togethers with friends, parties, celebrations and vacations!
Social events don’t preclude networking
This past weekend, I attended my neighbor’s outdoor party. It was her father’s 85 birthday and their 17th wedding anniversary. They invited close to 75 people, rented a large white tent, had it catered with fabulous Polish food, and even hired a musician with an Accordion for live entertainment. They are originally from Poland and have built up an enormous support network across the area.
The heat index this past weekend was wicked and we all dressed as nicely as we could, while wearing light weight fabrics. Since I live nearby and was walking to the party from my house. I considered leaving my purse behind. But I knew that I would want access to my business cards, just in case. My business card philosophy is “never leave home without them.”
Sure enough, an opportunity presented itself. I was getting to know one guest who told me that her job included developing and managing the special education curriculum for a near-by school system. It made me think of a networking conversation that I had with a friend just the other day regarding a job opening in his department. He was searching for someone to help him develop new courses for an online university and asked if I knew anyone who would be interested. I told him that I would keep my eyes and ears open.
Standing before me at this weekend party was someone that might be a good fit. So I shared what I knew about the job opening with her and asked her if she might be interested in it. She then mentioned a good friend of hers who might be perfect for the position. I offered my business card (thankfully I had one with me) and asked her to email me after the party, so we could connect her friend with my friend.
It may be a long shot, but it felt good that she and I were helping other people (and potentially reducing the unemployment rate!). Having my business card with me helped to create a bridge for follow up. Without it, neither of us might have remembered our conversation or had the contact information easily available for follow up.
Bringing your business cards with you to social events allows you act on spontaneous opportunities, helping others, even on ‘down time.”
Being tactful is important when you mix business with pleasure. Your spouse or date may not appreciate your habit of mixing business with pleasure. Your timing, approach and intention are important factors in helping people feel more comfortable and open to combining business discussions with social activities.
What happens if you cross the line?
Mix these past networking tips at your next summer social
Three steps to trim your social media contacts down to a more manageable size –
Why you should make a daily practice of picking up the telephone to speak to your clients –
Increase your productivity with these savvy tips from productivity expert, Neen James –
How raising your hand for opportunity can change the trajectory of your career. Read Deirdre Quinn’s story –
If you are introvert, you must read this -it will change your life –
Copyright 2013 – Kathy McAfee. Kathy McAfee is America’s Marketing Motivator and author of the book, “Networking Ahead for Business.” In her role as an Executive Presentation Coach and Motivational Speaker, Kathy helps her clients become the recognized leaders in their field by mastering the arts of high engagement presentations and more effective networking. Learn more at her Website: MarketingMotivator.net and NetworkingAhead.com.
Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”
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