Working the Room
Quiz Yourself on Your Networking Skills
One of the keys to growing a successful business is spreading the word about it. Without some solid networking skills, you’ll have a lot of trouble establishing a solid customer base that is large enough to support your company.
So, how good are your networking skills? Are you the “mayor of everywhere” or are you a wallflower? Take this quick quiz to find out!
1. You’re invited to a women’s networking event by an acquaintance. You agree to go, but she begs off with a bad cold that morning. She urges you to go anyway – the ticket has already been bought. You:
A. Say “No problem”…and mean it. You always go to an event like this alone. You’ll find a lot of people to talk to.
B. Agree to go, but have to shake off a serious case of the jitters first. When you get there, though, you hit your stride and leave with a few valuable new contacts.
C. Agree to go, then stand quietly in the corner all evening, nursing a glass of wine and wishing you were anywhere else.
D. Say you were about to call her – you’ve got a horrible migraine and were thinking you would need to cancel as well. Whew…you’re off the hook!
2. A client passes you a business card of a friend of his and suggests that the two of you could do business together. You:
A. Call as soon as you leave your client’s office. No time like the present.
B. Call the next morning – you need some time to plan what you’re going to say.
C. Call later in the week – it’s been so busy lately that actively growing your business has become a second priority.
D. Lose the card and only remember getting it when your client asks if his referral was successful.
3. You belong to a professional organization because:
A. It’s a great place to meet contacts that will help you grow your business, and you go to every meeting.
B. You sometimes pick up a new card or two, and occasionally attend a meeting.
C. It looks good on your resume, but you can’t remember the last time you actually went to a meeting.
D. There’s a professional organization for me? Seriously?
4. You strike up a conversation with a complete stranger waiting for a plane. By the time you’re ready to board, you think you could help each other’s business. You:
A. Offer her your card, say you’d love to work with her and encourage her to call. It doesn’t matter how you meet someone, right?
B. You ask tentatively if you could call her sometime, and ask for her card.
C. You get on the plane without acting on your hunch and kick yourself for weeks.
D. Never even think of promoting a business relationship – she’s just a nice lady you chatted with for a while.
5. Your company offers to send you to a conference, all expenses paid if you agree to present a short piece, then chat with attendees and hand around some promotional items afterward. You:
A. Jump at the chance. How much fun is that?!?
B. Agree to go, but worry the whole time that you’re not “doing enough”.
C. Go and give the speech, but cut short the meet and greet by pleading exhaustion.
D. Plead important family commitments and ask that another employee be given the opportunity.
Now take a look at the answers you’ve chosen.
You’re a networking wizard! You’re able to spot openings, take advantage of opportunities, and always seek out acquaintances that can benefit your business. We should put our heads together to see how we can help each other!
For the most part, you’re in the game. While you may sometimes put off acting immediately, it’s often because you want to make sure you’ve got your ducks in a row. Most of the time, you’re prudent rather than pushy, and it pays off in the long run. You’re usually holding your own, but you can use a few tips and hints here and there to boost your confidence. I’ve got some to share…
You know you’re not doing your best with your networking efforts, and you realize that need a nudge to get started. You may be intimidated, or feeling overwhelmed, but all is not lost! With a little concentrated effort, we can get you up and running!
You may not realize just how critical effective networking is to your company’s success, but now is the time to develop good interpersonal habits that will lead to smooth, polished business pitches. Whether you consciously avoid the stress of networking or just don’t make it a priority, I can help you develop the skills you need to make it happen!