Do you remember your first time?

Heather Townsend
Director
The Excedia Group
Columnist
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Networking, I mean. Why what were you thinking about?

My first time networking as a business owner rather than an employee was an eye opener. I was a month into my life as an executive coach, and was very naive and green. All I knew was that ‘networking’ was going to magically help me find referrals, leads and ultimately new clients for my business. But, rather crucially, I didn’t know how!

I clearly remember being there about 40 mins early, and catching up on some phone calls in the car, before very nervously making my way in – and not wanting to be the first one there! When I scanned the attendance list at the chamber of commerce event, my heart sank – nearly a third of the list were coaches of some sort of description. Not likely to be any clients here for me...

There were so many ‘regular’ networkers there, who seemed to be totally at ease circulating around the room. I honestly knew no one, but had psyched myself up to ‘press the flesh’ so to speak. I wondered whether I would ever know enough people that I would be one of those few who seemed to confidently glide around the room.
Well, it wasn’t a wasted evening so to speak. In networking terms it was a failure – there is no one from that evening that I am now in close contact with. I also spent a large part of the evening talking to two other coaches... However, that evening was the start of a passion for business networking, in particular using both online and offline networking in tandem.

What do you remember about your first time networking?
 

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23rd Aug 2011 11:13

Introduce others

Not my first event but I arrived once to find that the key speaker was another local accountant.

Instead of waving the accountancy flag I concentrated on introducing newcomers to others who would be able to help them. I made a few useful contacts in the process and was able to follow up in a more leisurely manner at a later date.

I usually find that I can make useful contacts and introductions on behalf of my clients and not just for myself.

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