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How to network with the networking group owner
Networking with the group leader, owner or manager can be a very useful way to accelerate your network. After all, the networking leader will know most if not all of the delegates and can probably introduce you to anyone you need an introduction to.
However, you need to tread cautiously if you are looking to leverage these useful contacts and add them to your network. After all organising and running a successful experience is a stressful experience and people pestering are likely to get a short answer.
So here are a few suggestions.
Arrive early and help out. The host or owner is likely to appreciate some help. Handing out the coffee/tea or name badges is a small price to pay for a little extended chit-chat.
Be sure to avoid direct pointed questions – you may come over as pushy. If you want to speak to Richard, the landscape gardener, asking “Who is the best landscape gardener?” is much preferable to asking “I need an introduction to Richard. Please help”
Next, as people start to arrive, back off, slipping back into the pack for the duration of the event. (Failing to do this will probably get you labelled a “glory seeker” – someone who wants to limelight without necessarily doing all the work).
Keep an eye on the organiser through out the event. Not a staring eye, just the kind of eye you would keep on a child out playing by themselves. Be on hand to help with a bit of lifting or carrying (if you are able) or helping newcomers find their feet.
Your next chance for an “in” is to leave late. (You should be doing this anyway). Obviously this is because the organiser will be one of the last to leave.
At the end of any event, be it a football match, a networking event or a school disco even, the organiser or main participants will always “flop.” That is to mentally unwind by verbally summing up the events – to relieve the tension.
If appropriate, offer to buy them a drink at the bar. Remember, avoid the hard sell or direct questions.
Be a nice guy (or gal) and you will easily be able to tap into the network owners inner circle.
This short article originally appeared on the Networking University blog
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