Branding, Business Development, Careers, Facebook, Networking, Real Estate, Realtor, Remarkable Service, social impressions

Networking at its Best: Use the “Power of Two”

JwithTamski1

The author (R) introducing herself to Tamara Suminski (L), the event chair at a fantastic CAR-YPN “Evolve” conference.

Whether you are a “natural networker” or a bit on the introverted side, if you are like me, whenever you attend a business or community event, two questions pop into your mind:

1. Who are the most important people to meet that night?
2. How do I “work the room” for networking success?

Sales and marketing have been my career my whole life, so I can offer a time-tested approach that works to everyone’s advantage with none of the obnoxiousness or helplessness we have all encountered!

Since we can’t possibly meet everyone in a large public gathering, I follow “The Power of Two” and it flows naturally whether the event is large or small, whether planned as a formal dinner setting, or just to mingle over cocktails or stroll trade show booths.

Here it is:  

The two most important people of the night are …
The person on your left, and the person on your right.

Here are some ways that will work to your advantage:

1. When standing in line to enter an event, introduce yourself to the person on your left, and then introduce that person to the person on your right.  You’ll find common ground more quickly, I promise!

2. When standing in line at the bar, introduce yourself to the person on your left, and then introduce that person to the person on your right.  Chatting your way to the front of the line is easy.  Just ask what everyone’s favorite drink is, and you’re on your way!

3. When seated at a dinner table of eight or ten, spend the meal getting to know the person on your left and the person on your right. You will have time to learn in detail about their business, who they are personally, and what connections you might have together. For me, time and again, these two people have proven to be the most valuable connections of the night.

JwithCarolF1 JwithGeeky

Two more tips:

4. When you approach a trade show booth, be a good listener, and if you know the booth business, give a “testimonial” to another person that may be standing beside you (again, on your left or on your right!) Then, thank the person behind the booth for being there, and ask them who their “most important type of potential customers are.” That is how I met one of The Geeky Girls, above!

5. Collecting business cards is more important than passing yours out. Two questions to ask the person on your left or right as you look over their card: “How’s business for you?” and if they say they are struggling, ask “How can I help?”

Bonus question:  Ask about ways others use Social Media in their business and you might find yourselves sharing ideas together and bonding over your social success!  Below is a picture of the day I asked Carol Farrar (who was then purely a Facebook friend) to have lunch together when I saw her in person for the first time at Agent Reboot in Irvine, CA. We have since become good friends in real life!

JwithCarolF2
There you are… Networking anxiety and a frantic sense of “must do the whole room” can be avoided with the “Power of Two.”  Tell me your best tips below, or comment where these ideas resonate most for you.

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Branding, Business Development, Real Estate, Realtor, social impressions

Blow up your Farm (in a good way!)

This post was featured at InmanNext, on June 1st, 2012
and has
received 500+ social shares in 48 hours.

Meetups are the most “fertile farms” around!

More and more Realtors I know are having epic problems with their tried and true farming efforts.  The recurring problem is smaller and smaller “crops” every year.    Want to create new, super-fertile farms?  Use Meetup.com and it will blow up your farm (and I mean that in the best way possible)!

The Meetup.com value proposition is simple.  You’ll find it in big letters at the top of their home page:  “Do something.  Learn something. Share something. Change something.”  These four actions are at the very core of how to meet and bond with new people that will become a fresh new infusion into your social and business sphere.

Below is a screenshot of what the Meetup.com site looks like.  At the very top-left, you will see two red buttons:  Find a Meetup and Start a Meetup.

Find a Meetup, Start a Meetup

Find a Meetup, Start a Meetup

The four windowpanes above are rotating photos from Meetups all across the country.  You can see the Cascade CSS (Tech) Meetup in the Bay Area, a Meetup in New York for practicing your German language skills, Gaming events in Colorado Springs area, and the Puget Sound Sailing Meetup Group in Seattle, Washington.  That’s a pretty broad representation of what you’ll find on this site.

I believe that Meetup.com has something for everyone, so let’s take a deeper dive.  Look above one more time, on the right side and you’ll find a box to Find a Meetup Group near you.  Go ahead and see what happens when you type in a topic or interest, and your zip code. Below you see my results:  two great Meetup.com groups 10-12 miles away from me.

"Moms" Search Results

“Moms” Search Results

Wow! You can see the San Diego Surfing Moms have 95 members.  They meet weekly for surfing and socializing, with built in shared childcare while they hit the waves.  Join the one below Surfing Moms and you’ll find yourself among 60 other self-proclaimed “Fun and Fabulous Moms” who do all kinds of fun activities listed in their description above.  I already love their enthusiasm and group energy!

Are you passionate about causes, but feeling lost about where to start?  I joined my favorite Meetup group because of the group title:  “DoGooders who Drink.”  Their mission is best shown right on their group page, below.

DoGooders Who Drink

DoGooders Who Drink

Fellow “DoGooders” include over 500 members.  This group is very diverse.  All ages, all professions.  A nice-sized number of us gather a couple times a month for lunch, brunch, or happy hour, and we include simple tasks like everyone bringing five stamped postcards to write and mail to U.S. servicemen and servicewomen stationed overseas.  (Shhhh! They’ll never know we have cocktails in hand while we write, unless we tell them.) This month the DoGooders are collecting simple care items and making “Welcome Kits” for families staying with children at San Diego’s Ronald McDonald house.

Do you have a pet?  Check this out, below.

Corgi and Yorkie Meetups

Corgi and Yorkie Meetups

Some of the most active Meetups involve our beloved family pets.   Above are Corgi owner and Yorkie owner Meetup groups that have over 600 and 700 members, each.  The Corgi group description reads, “Imagine 50 stubby Corgis frolicking at the park or running through the surf.  Now imagine their owners laughing and discussing what makes them similar and what makes them separate personalities.  That’s what this Meetup is all about.”  (Note: I am actually in the Yorkie Meetup group picture, just above.  I am the person with the tiny cobalt blue jacket near the far left.)

Whether you are in a major metropolitan area, or a small city like Spokane, WA where I recently lived (I was the Communications Director at the Spokane Association of Realtors), you will find Meetups to build your contact sphere naturally with interests you share with others.

Below is the results page after I searched “Sports” and a Spokane zip code.  You’ll see two outing and adventure excursion Meetup groups for Spokane County and Kootenai County residents with over 1,000 members between them!  Look to the right and you’ll see exciting Jet Boat trips on the Snake River, and Volleyball events coming up in the next few weeks.

Spokane WA Meetups

Spokane WA Meetups

Want to know about what’s trending on Meetup?  Just click “Find a Meetup” at the top and type in your zip code.

Here are my results, below.  You can see that I have four great choices… Hiking, wine-tasting, meeting some exceptional entrepreneurs, or talking personal finance.

Trending Meetups

Trending Meetups

(Tip:  Type in “Social Media” and you might just find a local meetup filled with approachable, affordable talent for SEO, CSS, WordPress, etc.)

Just above in the light blue box, you can see that there are 970 Meetup groups near me in my town of Carlsbad, CA.

Look again, near the bottom. Did someone say “Poker?”  Can you see “Encinitas Guys Poker Night” at Robby’s in the picture? Farming can be a whole new and energized experience on Meetup, so go ahead and blow up your farm — in a good way! You know how to do that now, using Meetup.com.

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Janet White is a skilled communications and social media director in the real estate industry.  She is passionate about helping Realtors succeed in their business and hopes to join a company in the Greater San Diego real estate community.  Follow this blog at www.iSocialimpressions.com, or view her experience on LinkedIn:  www.linkedin.com/in/JanetWhite1.