Strategic Networking Works!

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I recently put on a seminar about effective networking called “How to Spice Up Your Networking Efforts” and it included two hours of networking skill building in a structured intimate setting. My goal was to get together a group of people to share best practices about strategic networking and also provide them with an environment that promoted fruitful networking. The interactions we had among the group were open and inviting and everyone felt comfortable participating. By the time our session was over, not only the group exchange business cards, but meetings were set for one-on-one discussions moving forward.

Now weeks later, people are still getting together to meet and grow these relationships. I consider this to be a huge success! Just last week, I met one of my attendees and she has been doing business with someone she met in my seminar. Prior to that I heard that another couple had been meeting.  Most networking does not extend beyond the boundaries of the actual networking event. Sure, people will share contact information, but rarely is there any follow-up afterwards.

Anyways, one of the participants, Joyce Wilde, wrote about her experience with this session and how it benefited her in her business building efforts and her is what she has to say:

I am Joyce Wilde, owner of Wilde Services. My slogan is Wilde About Organizing because I enjoy helping people organize their homes, businesses and lives. In addition to organizing, I do coaching and writing to share ways people can live more effectively by creating a simpler, more harmonious existence. I have a master’s degree in clinical psychology and am a specialist in the psychology of organizing. I focus on helping people who are in transition – which characterizes a lot of people these days.

As a small business owner, I have discovered that I may be good at what I do; however it’s sometimes challenging to find folks who could benefit from my services. I actively look for ways to get out there and meet people and grow my business, and one of the best ways to do this is through networking. I’ve attended a lot of networking events, but none quite like that put on by Sheryl Johnson, Founder of BD-PRo Marketing Solutions, called “How to Spice Up Your Networking Efforts.”

What I liked was that Sheryl created an environment where the participants were able to get to know each other a bit as individuals, rather than just faces with business cards attached. Almost all of the attendees were small business owners, each who had different skills, gifts and talents to share – and it was great to learn what each had to contribute. The next time I need flowers, jewelry, an editor, or a CPA – I’ll know whom to call! 

As a professional organizer, I really appreciated that the event was thought out ahead of time. It was well organized and facilitated in a seamless manner. Sheryl’s demeanor was friendly, authentic and open, and this set the tone for a collaborative rather than competitive environment. This type of interaction created a good foundation for relationships to be built.

In contrast, typically at networking events I meet an individual and they give me their business card, and I hear their “elevator pitch.” However I don’t have much of an opportunity to get to know them at all.

Sheryl has another event coming up at the Franklin Inn the next week, and I’m looking forward to attending that one!

Thanks Joyce for sharing your story. If anyone is interested, please see my homepage at www.bdpromarketing.com and click on events for seminars and networking opportunities. I hope to see you soon!

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