Men and women fundamentally build professional relationships differently. Women take a long-term approach, building relationships over time based on shared experiences. Connections between men are often based on transactions where business is traded.
Lovelda Smith, founder of D.I.N.E. Events™, a boutique events company that focuses on creating unique events which facilitate building connections says, ”It’s no secret that women are exceptional networkers and value the depth of relationships they build over time. Unfortunately the current networking landscape is entirely unsupportive of this, favouring instead a more masculine approach which focuses on quantity of touch points over quality in a given period of time”.
In this information age your ability to influence others and leverage your network could not be more important. Despite technology and social media networks some old fashioned principles still hold true. According to a recent survey,“42% believe traditional networking ideas such as handing out business cards could generate at least £5,000 extra revenue per year” which only supports the theory that people still do business with people they know or meet face to face in the real world.
So, how do you make the best use of a face-to-face networking opportunity? D.I.N.E. Events™ recommends the following 5 key principles to build long-term, well-rooted relationships:
- Focus on getting to know the individual – Their background, family life and hobbies may not help you right now, but remember Kevin Bacon and the six degrees of separation: this information can be great to get to know their network thus expanding yours.
- Ask questions and listen to the responses – People love to talk about themselves, learn to become an excellent listener.
- Be prepared to concisely describe your business, what you do and what you are looking for – It’s still networking so don’t leave a conversation without spreading the word about you and yours
- Be present in the conversation – No one likes a conversation with someone who is waiting for them to take a breath so that they can jump in and talk about themselves instead.
- Avoid controversial topics – You are absolutely entitled to your opinions, but avoid conversations which are controversial and dissuade your audience, first impressions count.
Appreciating the different challenges that women face in the professional environment D.I.N.E. Events™ upcoming event creates a unique environment for women to facilitate building connection over a shared experience. The event features afternoon tea, cakes and a splash of champagne in the luxurious Ritz Hotel in October.