Networking Tips

The Technology Ball season consists of a series of unique networking events that bring buyers and sellers together for the opportunity to build new business relationships and strengthen existing ones. Networking can be intimidating so the Technology Ball team is looking to build our participants confidence when attending the Technology Ball after-work events. 

A Technology Ball networking event includes participating guests being invited to the event sponsors office for socializing before a brief program where Sponsors and Executive Hosts share their experiences with STEM education. During the event, Executive Hosts, Sponsors and invited University of Texas at Dallas STEM students to generate new and strengthen established relationships. Technology Ball is providing an open networking environment that brings target clients together and facilitates collaboration and partnerships outside of the business office. The unique networking events that Technology Ball holds are a way to make business partnerships more personal often resulting in a closed pipeline. 

Know Your Competition When Building a Network

Trent Humphries has a passion for connecting people to relationships and resources that will help them achieve their personal or business goals. The following networking tip comes from Mr. Humphries book “In Pursuit Of The Headless Chicken.”

“Competition can actually make you better at your job. Assuming, of course, that you get an occasional win. And by “competition,” I am talking in generality rather than a specific person, company or group. Consider the term to encompass everyone else who is trying to get to the same goal…an appointment with a high-level decision-maker.

A critical advantage over the average competitor is to put your ego aside and understand who really runs your show. I’m talking about the person who controls the access to your executive target, the one who takes their calls, who adds and eliminates people and meetings from their schedules and the one who can either grant you the opportunity of consistent access or make sure you are never heard from again and spend eternity in appointment purgatory. Mainly known as the “executive assistant,” these people are the most important people in your network. They are some of the nicest, smartest and most capable people around. After all, they have figured out how to sit right outside the most luxurious office in the building and work directly with the top people in the corporation.

Take Aways:

-Competition can make you better if you get an occasional win

-Always assess and play to your strengths

-Seek small advantage and leverage points

-The executive assistant can make or break your effort

How to Network Better

Networking and making connections is a critical part of creating new business or getting a new job. There are many ways to connect with people: in person, through social media, phone or by email; so, what does making those connections look like and how should you approach it? U.S. News and World Report gives tips on how to network better here.

Never Play Out of Position

When targeting a decision-maker for an appointment, if you think they are going to search for you on the internet and find your website where you extoll the wonder of all things you, you are mistaken. In order to meet executives, you need to know, spend your time in places where everybody is not just like you. Most people at networking events are trying to meet people who can help them. They are trying to meet you, so you can help them get where they want to go. 

A more strategic alternative to connecting yourself with a key player is to find smaller networking opportunities that are sponsored by a corporation, an industry association, a nonprofit or a university. These are far better opportunities for you than the events that are simply networking events with no real focus and where your success is a long shot at best. 

Take Aways:

– You must be out where the chickens are running.

– Be strategic about which networking opportunities to attend.

– Don’t misdirect your energy.

– Be a true giver, and don’t expect a return from every effort.

10 Networking Tips to Help You Make a Great First Impression at an Event

One of the best ways to meet new business contacts is through networking events. Building the right professional contacts can help expand your business and opens doors to new opportunities. 10 members of the Forbes Communications Council give advice on how to make a great first impression at any networking event. Read more here.

Tilting the Field of Play

“If you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete”.   Jack Welch

There is always a way to improve any process, and you need to find it quickly through trial, error and attention to the details, and then be careful to not camp out on one solution for too long.  Believing that a singular process will work over a long period of time is not a good idea when chasing appointments with executives.

You must keep creating new ways of adapting the process and methods to match the times, the people and situations.  You must be observant enough to see what went wrong and change it.  You can control the environment in small ways if you are creative, quickly learn from your mistakes and anticipate.

It’s you, in a coffee shop, the internet and your laptop.  So, get out there and research, develop and drink those double whatever lattes while you are continually improving your process. If your network is going to increase in value for you and for your clients, it better increase in the quality of the people you meet. If you don’t do your research, you run the risk of growing your network in size and scope but not in quality.

Take Aways:

– Develop a dynamic and flexible business model.

– Always seek to take control of your networking environment. – Research, research, research.

– Research, Research, Research

Networking Tips for People Who Hate Networking

Meeting new people in a networking environment can be intimidating to some people but networking events can be successful for you without feeling like work. Michelle Tillis Lederman, executive trainer and author of “The 11 Laws of Likability” and Vanessa Van Edwards, behavioral investigator and author of “Captivate” share their tips on how to navigate a networking event to build business relationships. Read more here.

10 Networking Happy Hour Tips that Can Advance Your Career

A Happy Hour networking event can help build your career and contacts if handled correctly. Thrillist published a compiled list of scenarios for any business cocktail party and how to handle yourself. Read more here.