The New York M.I.N.I.T is an energetic framework for busy professionals that taps into the root of networking...relationship building. The first tenet of the framework is the need to be Genuine and Authentic as you set out to network. Remember, the personal connection, even without scoring another business card, can always be a lasting benefit of networking. Keeping focused on the moment and the people you are surrounded by will help you not to glaze over in a frenzy of business card collection!
When you approach the first move in 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 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.
Pause...and breathe...Take 5 business cards and tuck them into your pocket...or better yet, buy a very cool looking holder that will make a nice impression when you finally CHOOSE to give your card over! Head for your meeting in your moment and think of M....NAke a connection!
MAKE a Connection in the New York M.I.N.I.T.
* 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 find another loner, to break the ice and warm up you connectivity. Use your knowledge of the group from your Google to form the first question...Is ______--(head of the organization) here yet? I would like the chance to meet him/her?
The answer you get will determine how long you'll spend in conversation since you may want to find those who know or know of the power people in the room. Even if they don't introduce you, 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 they may have helped you network from a quick conversation to the top dawg!
*Get 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 recalll.Because as you come through the room again...you will want to see whom these people are chatting with and perhaps you want to join the group..."Excuse me, Stella, thanks for pointing ----out to me, I had a great conversation with them. By the way, I'm_____, if you recall," will take you far into a new group 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 visable wsy...nothing worse than having people eyeball your navel in an attempt to read your name from a low hanging badge.
* Stay in connecting mode until you feel that the conversation is beneficial or not...but don't give up being relational and interested! If you feel that this is going nowhere...look to draw another nearby loner in with eye contact and a friendly gesture. After intros to get the two partners chatting, make your polite excuses and step away to find another Mske your connection opportunity!