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How to be a Game Changer


The dreaded networking scenario

Today I’ll be attending a networking lunch hosted by a professional women’s association here in Chicago.   I’ve been to one of their events before and indeed, they are the crème de la crème!  

To be honest, I am not a fan of networking events.  In fact, I loathe them. As a closet introvert, there’s nothing worse than shaking hands with total strangers and having to act like I’m interested in their boring, over-rehearsed elevator speech.   Not my cup of tea.

However today, I’m going into this with a different attitude.   That’s because I made a decision earlier this year to step out of my comfort zones and connect with people who are bold thinkers, decision makers and who know that they have unique gifts to share with the world.  

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I said in December that 2012 would be the game changer.   So far so good.

So how will I maximize every opportunity, relationship and even the dreaded networking events to make this a game-changing year?   Here’s a strategy.   You can use it too:

1.)       Go with a goal.   Everything I do is being done with purpose and intention.   I DO NOT go to networking events just to be seen.   I’d rather be at home making tacos and playing Scrabble with my son.   So if I leave the comfort of my home or office for anything, I go with a specific goal in mind.   For instance, today, my goal is to meet and establish mutually beneficial relationships with at least 3 successful business women (ideally at the 6-figure level) who want to get more visibility in the media.   That’s the goal.   I’m not there to collect a zillion business cards and then have to send a bunch of corny, pre-written emails to say “just following up….”   That’s creepy and a waste of time.  Sure I’ll meet lots of people, hand out plenty of cards and be cordial but my main goal is my main goal.

2.)       Share the resources and make an impact.   Whenever I meet someone, my first objective is always to give.   It may mean giving my full attention when they’re talking or giving them tips on how to get in the media (if they ask) or giving them the name of someone I know who can help them.   Whatever the case, I always give first.   So today, I’ll have my handy 5 x 7 postcards with me.   In case I need to write down the name or phone number of a resource to share with my fellow networkers, I can write it down on one of these nice little cards (and yes, they’re branded of course) along with some encouraging words.   This will add a nice personal touch and help them remember me as well.

3.)       Own the room.   Because of my laid back nature, this is something that took me a long time to learn.   Whenever you walk into a room where you could potentially meet your next big client or where you will be talking business, you need to walk in there looking like you mean business.   So for me, that means: yesterday I took time to get a manicure, today Landis is doing my make up and I am wearing a business savvy Barbara Bates design.   Even though I probably wont know a soul, I am going to walk into that room like I am First Lady Michelle Obama!   No, I’m not conceited; I just know what it takes to achieve the goal that I set out to acheive.   The people I’m going to meet are high level professionals.   So am I!   Today, I will attract opportunities to work with brilliant women business leaders because I have the right mindset, I’m intentional and because I look the part.   So if you’re going to be a game changer, don’t just show up…SHOW UP!   Be the one that makes people wonder, “Who is that?”   That’s what game changers do.

I’ll let you know how things turn out.   I expect to report back 3 new potential clients and some outstanding business opportunities.   How are you changing the game this year?

 

 
 
 
 
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