Thursday, December 4, 2014

3 “MUST” Networking Tips for Women Business Owners

I was recently asked if I had ever felt funny networking at a mixed gender event. Well, first of all, life is a mixed gender event. Second, I never have felt “funny” but I’ve always been a straight forward person who has worked among more men than women. That’s when it occurred to me that new business owners, who happen to be female, may need some tips on networking.
So, I went back and checked-in with the woman who asked me this question. I wanted to know what her experience was that she would ask me such a question. It turns out, she felt that men may have mistaken her business advances as an excuse to flirt. She was concerned about lines being perceived wrong at mixed gender events.

As a result of her question, I’ve put together 3 tips to help females new to business ownership proudly boast their companies, and build professional relationships, without feeling “funny.”
1. Practice your elevator pitch in the car and into a recording device. There are many apps that can record your thoughts while driving. Download one on your smart phone. Practice several elevator pitches in the car on the way into work. 8 hours (or more) later when driving home, listen to them. You will know what sounds great, what makes you cringe, and what to polish.
2. Be a giver. Don’t go into any event seeking a business deal or referral source. Instead, offer to do something for everyone you meet. This way, no single person feels you’re offering an “extra special” incentive because you’re interested in him or her. For example, if you own a bakery- have special business cards printed up with an offer for a free brownie every time the person visits your shop in-person.
3. Don’t drink more than one glass of wine and no hard liquor. This goes for any event at any point during your career as a business owner. No one likes a sloppy drunk and no one will take someone who can’t be responsible with their liquor intake at a corporate event seriously- especially when it comes to signing a contract or referring business to that same person.
Have more questions? Let’s connect on Twitter.

Twyla Garrett

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