By Erin Daniels, The KNOW Women
We often hear “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know!” While we believe both are very important, networking to create valuable connections is one of the pillars of a successful business. These valuable interactions lead to growth in business, opportunity, and education and provide opportunities that may not have been accessible before.
According to Hubspot, 85% of jobs are filled through networking. In addition, while most of us look for new opportunities online, according to CNBC, 70% of jobs aren’t even shared on the internet. This is often referred to as the network gap, an advantage some individuals have over others because of who they know and how they know them. As a result, many may be missing out on opportunities they are qualified for, just because they don’t know the “right” people. Getting in the right room is the first step, but knowing what to do while you’re in there is equally important.
At KNOW, we are all about creating connections! It is what we do. We asked our KNOW powerhouses not only how to create dynamic, valuable connections, but also how to leverage them. Follow along on our four-part mini-series to see how these driven women are growing their businesses with the relationships they are building.
What’s the one thing you never leave without when you go to a networking event?
A great attitude and a plan. Never walk into a networking event unprepared. It’s okay to be social, but time is money and everyone is there for a reason. So set a goal before you go, and do your best to achieve it before you leave. If your goal is to create at least one business opportunity, then make sure you meet or exceed that goal before you walk out the door. If you don’t have a plan, then it’s just a party.
–Melissa Snively, Melissa Snively State Farm Agency
I never leave home without my business cards. My husband and kids tease me about this but I have found that I am often at a birthday party or community event where someone asks for my contact information so we can continue our conversation at a later date. Whether it is work-related or not, it’s so much easier for me to hand them my card than it is to dig for our phones while we are often holding children, bags, (and sometimes cocktails). Plus, the next day, they can pull it out as a reminder of our conversation whereas if it’s in their phone they may not think to reach out.
–Juliet Burgess, The Burgess Law Group
One new friend. Even if I’m leaning hard into the business side of my networking (clients and connectors), I always seek to connect with at least one person in a personal way.
-Jennifer Lawrence, Jenerosity Partners
Honestly, my phone. I have a digital business card that I use and which allows me to collect contact info from others. I like to be as hands-free as possible, so just having my phone is perfect. Other than that, I also make a point to never leave without a positive attitude.
– Dr. Lisa Folden, Healthy Phit Physical Therapy & Wellness Consultants
One new meaningful connection. If possible a business card and lead, but more importantly feeling like I had at least one meaningful conversation that had the potential to change that person’s life. People will remember how you made them feel.
-Sasha Stair, Sasha Stair