pro tip

always follow up

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

I will let you in on a little secret. Networking can virtually occur in any settings. But networking might not be the most important part of making contacts, my friends, it is essential to always follow up. An initial contact is great, but you aren’t really networking if the relationship does not continue. To achieve success in your networking efforts, it is vital to follow up.

You want to cultivate those relationships and the solution isn’t more networking, but rather spending more time networking with a follow up system in place. Honestly, your business or career may even depend on it. Let me fill you in on a few best practices.

Take notes

More than likely, you exchanged business cards, if not get in the habit of doing that. At the very least get their business card. Immediately after the event, jot down a few quick notes about the people you met. I write these directly on their business card. It’s important to do this shortly after the event so the conversation is still fresh in your mind.

Send an email 24 hours after meeting

When sending your first email, you want to demonstrate that you are thoughtful, reliable, and consistent. Just like you put the effort in to make a good impression at the event, continue to do that in your email. Of course, make sure there are no typos, spelling errors or run-on sentences. Sharing useful data, offering further help and focusing on the receipt of the email are all things to keep in mind when writing this exchange.

Connect on Social Media

The next step is to connect with the person on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ or follow their blog. Once I am connected with someone on LinkedIn or Twitter, for example, I am less likely to lose touch with them and they will be reminded of me every time I post something. Plus, both are excellent tools for remaining “top of mind” with people in your extended network.

Follow-Up & Add Value

The hardest part about following up with people who you still don’t know that well is finding excuse for contacting that person without sounding like a car salesman. When you follow up with your contact, add value to your outreach.  A few ways to do this could consist of sending an information article, making an introduction or inviting them to an event. Again, it’s hard to make these follow up connections but know that everyone is in the same boat. Here’s another useful article about adding value from the NYTimes.

Keep these things in mind next time you are next working and following up with those connections!

networking

here are some tips, that actually work

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

With networking you have to go from awkward to awesome. I don’t know anyone who actually likes networking, but it’s something we all need to do. Here are a few tips and tricks when it comes to networking. Here are a few networking tips from Entrepreneur and a few more, too.

1. Be on time, better yet arrive early-  Showing up early at a networking event is a much better strategy than getting there on the later side. As a first attendee, you’ll notice that it’s calmer and quieter – and people won’t have settled into groups yet. It’s easier to find other people who don’t have conversation partners yet.

2. Ask easy questions. Don’t wait around the edges of the room, waiting for someone to approach you. To get the conversation started, simply walk up to a person or a group, and say, “May I join you” or “What brings you to this event?” Don’t forget to listen intently to their replies. If you’re not a natural extrovert, you’re probably a very good listener – and listening can be an excellent way to get to know a person.

3. Ditch the sales pitch. Remember, networking is all about relationship building. Keep your exchange fun, light and informal – you don’t need to do the hard sell within minutes of meeting a person. The idea is to get the conversation started. People are more apt to do business with – or partner with – people whose company they enjoy.

If a potential customer does ask you about your product or service, be ready with an easy description of your company. Before the event, create a mental list of recent accomplishments, such as a new client you’ve landed or project you’ve completed. That way, you can easily pull an item off that list and into the conversation.

4. Share your passion. Win people over with your enthusiasm for your product or service. Leave a lasting impression by telling a story about why you were inspired to create your company. Talking about what you enjoy is often contagious, too. When you get other people to share their passion, it creates a memorable two-way conversation.

5. Smile. It’s a simple – but often overlooked – rule of engagement. By smiling, you’ll put your nervous self at ease, and you’ll also come across as warm and inviting to others. Remember to smile before you enter the room, or before you start your next conversation. And if you’re really dreading the event? Check the negative attitude at the door.

6. Don’t hijack the conversation. Some people who dislike networking may overcompensate by commandeering the discussion. Don’t forget: The most successful networkers (think of those you’ve met) are good at making other people feel special. Look people in the eye, repeat their name, listen to what they have to say, and suggest topics that are easy to discuss. Be a conversationalist, not a talker.

7. Remember to follow up. It’s often said that networking is where the conversation begins, not ends. If you’ve had a great exchange, ask your conversation partner the best way to stay in touch. Some people like email or phone; others prefer social networks like LinkedIn. Get in touch within 48 hours of the event to show you’re interested and available, and reference something you discussed, so your contact remembers you.

giving thanks round 2

30 days of thankful, edt. 2

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

11/11- Veterans

Today I am especially thankful for all of the men and women who serve The United State of America. Without Veterans who knows where we would be. I thank you for protecting our country, democracy and our freedom.

11/12 -Leftovers

Typically when my office has a meeting they will order a few extras so then the staffers can indulge afterwards. To me, a recent college graduate, this is one of the most awesome perks of my job! Not only am I thankful for my team thinking of me and feeding me, but also where they cater from. Post office move, we have started catering with a new restaurant: Pret A Manger. I am beyond thankful that we order through Pret. Check out their motto: Made today, gone tomorrow. In the U.S., all of our shops donate food to local charities working with the hungry. In New York, that’s City Harvest, in Washington, DC it’s Thrive DC, in Chicago it’s The Greater Chicago Food Depository and in Boston it’s The Boston Rescue Mission.  Last year, we donated over 400,000 pounds of top quality food making us one of City Harvest’s top 10 food donors.

11/13- Networking Happy Hours with SMCDC

Such an awesome group of people–SMCDC. I am thankful for being part of a group that is quirky, fun and intelligent beyond words. The opportunity to get together with these kids two or more times a month is awesome. I am thankful for such a fun and accepting group of people to hang out with, bounce ideas off of and put on wicked events with. SMCDC is a stellar group of people, if you don’t know them– you are missing out. Come hang out with us! You’ll be thankful you know them, too!

11/14- Standing Date Nights

I am beyond thankful for standing date nights. No, these date nights don’t involve standing. It’s a standing date– every Tuesday, and now every Wednesday (minus the 3rd Wednesday)– I have date nights with two incredible people. Living in DC we forget that our schedules get booked up and packed with things three weeks in advance. It’s nice to be busy, but it’s not a fun feeling to always be telling your friends “no”. I am thankful that these standing dates exist. I am thankful that my friends squeeze me in, and in turn I can do the same.

11/15- Connections

This one goes out to those long lost friends. I am thankful for the friends that you have an instant connection with. These are the friends that you may not see all the time, but when you do– it’s awesome. Your friendship is so strong that when you see each other, you have that hug and just know. You know that things have changed, but it doesn’t matter because you will pick up exactly where you left off. Ya’ll know what I am talking about. We all have these friends. Show them some appreciation and thanks. I am grateful for these stellar human beings!

11/16- Name Sharing- to All the Kendal’s Out There

I am thankful for my given name: Kendal Ann. I have encountered only a few Kendals in my day. Very rarely does anyone ever spell my name how I do. Today, I was at Vera Bradley and upon checking out I was asked my name, I told the girl and she spelled it K-e-n-d-a-l-l, i politely corrected her saying, only one l. She went on to tell me that her name, too is Kendal, but she spells it with 2 ls. We joked around for a while, but had the understanding that Kendal is a great name no matter how you spell it.

11/17-Lazy Sundays

I am thankful for Sundays filled with laziness. It’s as simple as that. Sometimes, we are so busy we never take me time. We feel guilt saying no, and we burn ourselves out. I’m in that boat right now. I am burning myself out and need some QT with myself. Sundays are a perfect day to hang out and to be lazy. I am thankful for a lazy Sunday every now and again.

11/18- My Boss

My boss is one of the most gracious people I have had the opportunity to work for. She is fantastic. Every day she says thank you to me at least once. She will give me constitutive criticism,  and tell me what I can do to improve. She treats me like an equal. I am thankful for my boss, because she is awesome and more than a boss to me, she’s also a mentor.

11/19- Phone Calls

I love when people pick up the phone and call you. With social media at our finger tips, we think the phone is something “scary”. I don’t like that. I love picking up the phone and calling people. It’s the interaction. A phone call is filled with emotion, and it’s a great connection. If you ever want to talk, feel free to give me a call. I am thankful for my friends who want to talk to me on the phone, and those who call me.

11/20- Deephers!

This one is for the Deephers. I am thankful for a family away from my family. These women will always have my back, no questions asked. It’s great to be part of a community that is so strong and bound together just my tradition. Thanks for all the memories and the ones to come. Here’s to you, Deephers!