Get Ready for the Mixer
This is Part Five of the Relationship Networking series. Today we will focus on what to think and what to take as you get ready for the mixer.
First Do Some Research
Who will be attending? Is there someone you haven’t met before? Can you learn more about individuals that will be there? Try finding their name on Social Media sites such as LinkedIn; do a Google search for their company website.
Prepare Your Thinking
- Decide when to arrive. Do you want to meet people as they arrive? Decide how to select a seat – what is strategic?
- Decide how to set the stage for follow up – Will you inivte them for coffee? Will you ask for their card? Will you ask what SM platform they prefer?
- Think about ways to excuse yourself from a time hog.
- Remind yourself to act like a host, not a guest. In other words, connect people.
- Remember that you want to learn as much as you can about each person you converse with. Breathe, relax and anticipate having a great time!
- Leave behind that part of your mind that judges, and adopt an encouragement, supportive mindset.
Set Some Goals
Ask yourself – “What do I hope to accomplish at this gathering?” “Is there someone I want to get to know better?” Decide how many people you want to meet for the first time. Click here to find a Networking Action Plan Template that will help you with your goal setting.
Describe Your Business
- Be ready to describe your business in 15 seconds – naturally and conversationally. This is your response to the inevitable question: What do you do? or Tell me about your business. Your elevator speech tells who you are and what you do for people. Of course some originality is good here – as is lots of practice. (A short article providing some examples is available here.)
- Ask yourself “What small aspect of my business do I want to focus on?”
- Think of ways to ask for referrals. E.g “Who do you know that…..”
- Many organizations provide professional-looking name badges with the organization logo. An even nicer touch is to have your own distinctive name badge that includes your business name, your name and your logo. These are not costly and communicate that you are serious about your business.
- Avoid those tacky stick-on things that one finds on the registration table. They give the impression that you are not organized or professional.
- Be sure to have your name badge with you. Place it on your upper right lapel (chest). Why place it on the right? Because the eye travels there naturally as you are shaking hands.
- Know the purpose of business cards: Helps people remember your name. Tells them how to contact you. Gives them something to make a note on.
- Be sure to have a good supply of business cards in your pocket together with a small pen to write notes on the back of the cards you receive. For women, this requires some advanced planning since not all their clothing has pockets.
- There is nothing more embarrassing than to ask a person for their card, and to have them say “Oh, I don’t have one yet”. NEVER attend a networking event without them.
- If you are awaiting the arrival of official cards, do up something temporary. Temporary is better than none.
- A good rule to follow is to never leave home without your business cards. Keep extras in your car, purse, wallet, briefcase, home, office.
- If you collect prospect information on your phone; make sure it is fully charged.
- Be ready to share your contact information electronically. Be ready to receive their contact information.
- Wear comfy shoes.
- Ensure you are hydrated.
Mindset Monday Challenge
How do you prepare for Mixers? Have I forgotten anything?