Six Essentials for Networking

5. Pick a “sensei of the day”: Each day I pick a sensei, a teacher. This is someone who has taught me a lesson or reminded me of something important in life. Your sensei can be a person, a pet, a plant, it doesn’t matter. The important thing is to acknowledge that there is much to learn and you are being offered valuable lessons constantly.

6. Do the drive-by schmooze.
Parties, conventions, groups of all sorts are great opportunities to network, but sometimes you’ll be tired, not in the mood, or have too many events in one evening (like during holiday season!). This is when you’ll want to use the Drive-By Schmooze. Here’s how:

a. Timebox your networking. Decide that in 30 minutes you’ll do a check-in to determine if you need to stay any longer.

b. Set your goal. Determine the number of new connections you want to establish. Remember, your goal is meaningful connections, not simply contacts.

c. Let your intuition guide you. OK, this may sound flaky, but it works! Stand near the door, in a corner, out of the way. Stop your thoughts. Internally ask to be guided to the people you need to connect with. Then start walking. You’ll be amazed at who you meet.

d. Connect. You’ll always resonate with someone at an event. When you do, ask questions about them, such as: How did you get started in your field? What’s your ideal customer? We all love to talk about ourselves, and these questions will not only help you form a connection with this person, but will also tell you how to help them.

e. Offer help and follow through. If you can provide help, jot down ideas on the back of their business card, commit to follow up, and then do it. If you’ve had a fruitful conversation and want to take it further, offer to meet for lunch or coffee. People say life is 90 percent about showing up. Nonsense! Life is 90 percent about following through!

Christine Comaford-Lynch is CEO of Mighty Ventures , an innovation accelerator which helps businesses to massively increase sales, product offerings, and company value. She has built and sold five of her own businesses with an average 700 percent return on investment, served as a board director or in-the-trenches advisor to 36 start-ups, and has invested in over 200 start-ups as a venture capitalist or angel investor. Christine has consulted to the White House (Clinton and Bush), 700 of the Fortune 1000, and hundreds of small businesses. Click here for four free business-boosting podcasts.

Ladies Who Launch is asking you … what do you think of these tips? Let us know in the Comments section below!

For more from Christine, check out her article “Three Classic Financing Mistakes.