I went to a Women in Business seminar targeted at helping people progress in their businesses and careers. There were many useful insights that I would like to share as you may also find them useful. Here are my notes from the event:
SMARTER NETWORKING - 60 Second Pitch
People in power have shared that when someone approaches them to pitch i.e. sell themselves, an idea or a product, they are more receptive if you:
The speaker shared a story about a lady at a networking event that she invited to chat. She looked over her shoulder the whole time and walked off mid sentence! This lady didn't bother to get to know who she was being invited into a conversation with and she could have failed to capitalise on a conversation with the most valuable contact for her business on that day.
Objective of networking: to help as many people as possible.
So, your intro at a networking event should help people understand:
- How you could help: them, their organisation or someone they know
BRAND: what people say about you when you're not in the room.
BEST INTRO WHEN NETWORKING
What brought you here today? Rather than - what do you do?
Why? Many people hate being asked what they do because for instance, they do lots of things, or they're unemployed or the question is so broad that it's hard to give a decent answer.
How do you join a group that has already formed? Ask: may I join you?
How do you approach a group of men without them thinking you are hitting on them in any way?
I approach them in the same way that I would a group of women. There are three stages in your relationship building:
TYPES OF IMPACT
If you think a man has misinterpreted you "immediate" impact, work on that with the "interaction" and "follow-up" impact.
ON PROGRESSING IN LIFE AND CAREER
A great quotes was shared: "Everything you want is out there waiting for you to ask. Everything you want also wants you. But you have to take ACTION to get it." Jack Canfield
Nikki Hutchison said you should only include recent achievements as old achievements are irrelevant. I don't agree. Some achievements will always help people to build a picture of who you are, e.g. I got a scholarship to the University of Cambridge straight out of one of the ten poorest countries in the world, Malawi; I subsequently became the first person to graduate with a first class in Economics in the 3rd largest college in Cambridge - they'd been allowing women into the college since the 80s. Even when I am 80, that will be viewed as an achievement to me and to others.
Interesting fact: 22% of employers are less likely to hire without a thank you follow up
[there were other points but I couldn't note them down fast enough!]
OTHER TIPS FROM WOMEN THAT HAVE GROWN
b) Want a pay rise
c) Want a promotion
Many women hate boasting so find a non-boastful format for self-promotion. If you don't say what YOU want, you let people decide what is good enough for you!
FINDING A CAREER OR BUSINESS SPONSOR
Women with sponsors were found to be 52% more likely to be happy with their career progression. Than those without one.
I realised that I don't really have sponsors! Shame :( - I sort of have one - I need people that know about how to grow a business that have actually done business themselves. The closest thing I have to a sponsor is the books I read.
Sponsors introduce you to their inner circle, champion you and give you critical feedback.
How do you get a sponsor? You earn them!
1. Through commitment, i.e. attitude, loyalty, good, work ethic, sharing info, being consistent, not getting complacent)
2. Through the favour system
If you do something for someone, they feel obliged to do something back! E.g. have you ever gotten an unexpected Christmas card and dashed out to send one back? So be PROACTIVE about adding value to people's lives.
3. Through becoming the go-to specialist in your niche
Add value and sponsors will begin to materialise. They will strategically want to involve you in important meetings
Points 1 to 3 are the "Sponsorship Rulebook"
Why would someone want to sponsor you? You make them look good! Reputation!
What will I do about getting a sponsor?
Step 1: This week I'm going to the British Library (I've been thinking about it for a while) because they have great resources for small businesses including people I can talk to. What are you going to do?
Step 2: gosh, I've gotta keep something to myself! I'll keep you posted.
Visualisation: it's important to regularly visualise where you want to get and who you want to be; it helps to reinforce your goals and to ultimately get there.
In summary, as long as this blog is. I have missed tonnes of stuff the above is mostly from the first half of the day so I would recommend you sign up to the Women in Business Superseries so you can go to the next one or benefit from their free webinars.
My favourite speakers
The hosts: Christine Brown-Quinn and Jacqueline Frost
Stephanie Peckham, Smarter Networking
Nikki Hutchison, Chilli Pepper Global
The Fold, London
Matt Roberts Personal Training
The Lemon Gallery