One of my favourite tips from the Aspiring Women Leaders course (run by Informatics Ventures) this week came from Ken Morse, who suggested you should get a wing man (or woman) for your next networking evening.
His advice: Find someone in your organisation that shares the same networking goals as you do, go to the event together. When you’ve cornered Mr/Ms Big and making your pitch, get your wing man/woman to look out for any incoming pitchers and whisk them away. In addition, the positioning of you, your wing and Mr/Ms Big is very important.
Try and get Mr/Ms Big to have their back turned to the main room, and have your wing opposite Mr/Ms Big to get the widest perspective for scouting purposes.
His other advice were:
- Get to the cocktail night early, find out what the host want to get out of the evening and ask who the most interesting people are to talk to
- Prepare a follow up letter prior to going to the conference/networking session
- Send said letter 3-4 hours after the networking session
One of my other favourite comments from the course was relating to the last point. I asked Ken whether he thought sending a follow up email that night was too soon, and whether it seemed a little too eager or come across as too aggressive. He simply replied – “aggressive, or organised?”