The New York M.I.N.I.T is an energetic framework for busy professionals that taps into the root of networking…relationship building! When you are asked to go to a networking event, keep the New York M.I.N.I.T framework in mind. I promise you’ll leave the event with not, 20 useless cards for your rolodex…but one or two cards that WILL RESULT IN BUSINESS or a top shelf referral!
The framework requires you to be genuine and authentic as you set out to network. Remember, the personal connection, even without scoring another business card, can have a lasting benefit for networking beyond the LARGE room you make SMALL talk in!. Keep focused on the moment, and the energy gained from targeting the right people will help you not to glaze over in a frenzy of business card collection!
When you approach the first move in event networking at a conference or meeting…remember the image of an octopus on rollerskates…you don’t want to appear that way, do you? Think of the octopus on rollerskates trying to cross the event ballroom or conference room floor…lots of activity and plenty of motion expended…but nothing is happening that is productive…the octopus isn’t making progress. Go farther with this picture.Think of each arm with a business card tucked into it…the octopus wants to mix and mingle, to get those cards out…but is thwarted by his own frenetic energy.
Now, you can do better.
Pause…and breathe…Take 5 business cards and tuck them into your pocket before the event…or better yet, buy a very cool looking holder that will make a nice impression when YOU finally CHOOSE to give your card over! Your card is as precious as gold. You are not sharing it with just anyone. Head for your meeting to control your moment and think of M….MAke a connection!
MAKE a Connection in the New York M.I.N.I.T.framework:
* Before you go…do a quick Google of the group, mission, and people who matter. Be ready to use that in a connecting first moment.
*Enter the room alone and do a once around without connecting.
First, find another loner, then break the ice and warm up your connectivity. Use your knowledge of the group from your Google that you’ve done on the event prior to arriving.. Form a first question…”Is ______(head of the organization) here yet? I would like the chance to meet him/her?” Use the question BEFORE you say your name and introduce yourself…and smile, genuinely!
The answer you get will determine how long you’ll spend in conversation since you want to find those who know the power people in the room. Even if they don’t introduce you to the power people directly, you can say…” HI, Ms._________( Powerperson), I’ve just had a great chat with_____, who spoke highly of your work in _________________) “. You may not know the original person, but their name may have helped you network from a quick conversation to the top dawg!
To help yourself in a big room, learn the names of the loner people and burn them into your brain! Look them in the eye and associate…red tie, Ralph…Siver haired, Stella….Read the name tag…ANYTHING to aid your recalll. Why? As you walk through the room again…you will want to see with whom these people are chatting and networking with, and perhaps you want to join the group…”Excuse me, Stella, thanks for pointing, (Mr. Power Guy!) out to me, I had a great conversation with him. By the way, I’m_____, if you recall.” . This will take you far into a new group that is chatting, and help you to see if the conversation is rich enough to remain in!
* Speaking of name tags…wear yours in a prominent way at the throat or buy a special lanyard that you can loop around in a visible way…nothing worse than having people eyeball your navel in an attempt to read your name from a low hanging badge.
* At these networking events, stay in connecting mode in one on one chats until you feel that the conversations are beneficial or not…but don’t give up being relational and interested, even if you are bored! If you feel that this small talk is going nowhere…look to draw another nearby loner in with eye contact and a friendly gesture. After you make the intros to get the two partners chatting, make your polite excuses and step away to find another pair to network with in the large room! Your small talk will bring you BIG results if you make the studied attempt to make the most of your connection opportunities at events. You can do it in a New York MINIT!
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