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Don’t be afraid to shoulder-tap

Posted by Ilise Benun on

Last month, I told you how
I connected with an Internet entrepreneur at a local event. I ran into him
again, and he remembered me. Now, even though as someone said, “He runs a huge
company. What makes you think he’s going to talk to you?” we know each
other, and we’ve been talking about the possibilities of working together.

Remember, even though some
people have impressive credentials and huge companies, they’re still people
just like you and me. And sometimes, one brave moment is all it takes. Even if
they run giant companies, the basics of networking still apply.

Here’s an excerpt from my
Quick Tip that explains my initial approach:

Credit: Illustration by Iain Keith of

I tend to be optimistic. And I had prepared:

* I
pre-tweeted him the night before. (This pre-tweeting thing works! See?)
* I
got there early.
* I
kept a lookout for a good time to approach him.

didn't have to wait long. I saw him come in and head for the pizza station. As
he grabbed a slice, I tapped him on the shoulder.

I introduced
myself, mentioned my tweet, and he connected my name and face.
made! We were talking over pizza and had a great conversation.

of the lessons I learned while getting paid to network, my own networking was
more focused than ever before. At this event, I achieved my goal because I:

* had
realistic goals (to make 2 high quality contacts)
didn’t try to talk to all 150 people in attendance
didn’t try to “collect” business cards
* took
advantage of the speed networking and moved on quickly if someone wasn't a
great fit
have to know what you're looking for)
confidently approached people
prepared in advance

Who should you be networking with?

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