Bimbo Banter

A recipe for Networking Mixers - Equal parts talking and listening

  • Leadership
  • December 13, 2017
  • by Laura Barnett

Cocktail party

What comes to mind when you think of networking mixers? Is it a vision of those weak cocktails in plasticware combined with awkward conversation and way too many business cards?. If the thought of attending one fills you with dread, here are a few tips to make the most of one.

1) Buddy-up. A friend of mine also likes business development, so we partnered up to attend a recent networking mixer in Dallas. It’s so nice to have a friend who you can chat with when your conversations die down, who can talk you up to potential contacts, and who can help you escape in case you get trapped in an unwanted conversation.

2) Bring plenty of business cards and be able to get to them quickly. It’s a bit awkward to ask someone to hold your drink while you’re digging in your jacket pocket like you’re rifling through Mary Poppins’ magical bag to get a card.

3) Be nice. People often aren’t, which stinks. So, I guess I have to say this. For example, when you’re telling someone about how you can help them, never disparage the other person’s company as a tactic to try to sell your product or service. It’s never worked and it’s simply in poor taste.

4) Listen. People don’t seem to do this either, so here we are again. When I explained that our office was closing for the Christmas holiday in a few days, one gentleman plowed right ahead, ignoring social cues, and asked to set up a meeting in the next three days. Furthermore, he didn’t know my role at our company, what our company does or whether I needed his help.

5) Talk about something other than business. One woman I talked with was wearing a fabulous sweater. I now know where my next shopping trip will be. I talked with another young woman about her recent move to Dallas and how graduating college means no more month-long breaks…remember those days?!

Cocktail conversation is an art…and a bit of a science.  Spaeth can help you improve how you talk about your work, your company and your goals. Want to get better at that in 2018? Let us know!

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Cocktail party

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