Monday morning at GraceWorks, Edith Yeung of SF Entrepreneur, a networking group, was the speaker. She started www.SFEntrepreneur.com for those starting their own businesses. She said it was “one of the largest networking groups for entrepreneurs in San Francisco.”
A native of Hong Kong she came here when she was 16 and pursued her education and remarkable career. She was a forceful speaker, to wit:
“You don’t need a job. You have something great to offer that will help solve someone else’s problem.”
She solicited from the meeting participants examples of all the places where one could network. The list went on for many pages:
The Chamber of Commerce
professional membership organizations
community membership organizations
The Pacific Energy Center, an educational program of PG&E
the gigs section on craigslist
San Francisco Business Times
Business Network International
Ladies Who Launch
It was noted that many of these congregations meet in the evening and it might be more comfortable to go with a friend.
Edith urged that we all have our “elevator pitch” down pat, that is — my name, what I do, how I can benefit people and something interesting might serve as a memory hook.
She acknowledged that after we give our elevator pitch sometimes there is a silence which terrifies us. The other person may not respond immediately. She advised, “Just shut up and let that person talk. If they are not interested, then just move on.”
She also advised that before you go to an event that you study the organization, the speaker and, if you can, suss out who the guests might be. “So you can plan your activities before you show up,” she explained.
When you get a person’s card, write on the back immediately how you met them and what you can do to follow up in 24 hours. That is her rule. (However I noted later that she didn’t remember to do this exactly with me.)
When you follow-up you send an e-mail and the subject line should be attractive, promise of some benefit, ideas to promote her company for instance. Or a great article for her, or something special that you remember from your interaction.
If you want a phone conversation with someone you met networking, you can ask to speak with him for seven minutes or some other short, weird amount of time just to píque his interest. It could well turn into an hour’s conversation.
Since the green business is so hot these days, somebody mentioned that the San Francisco business Times has recently published a list of new firms in green technology which are backed by venture capital. He suggested you could search all those companies, their CEOs, and check them on LinkedIn. Perhaps you can ascertain where they will be speaking next so you can approach them personally..
Jim Dowling said that he recently went to an event with Carlos Hernandez and approached the panel afterwards. One of the CEO’s he spoke with was able to introduce him to the right person in her company that he needed to speak with for his purposes.
He also mentioned that he had recently spoken at Experience Unlimited. This intrigued me because I had a low opinion of this organization as I mentioned in an earlier posting.So after the meeting I sent him a e-mail and asked him to expand on his impressions of EU.
And he responded this way:
For me EU is "take what you like and leave the rest". Some of it is helpful but some not. It does not have the high level of professionalism and enthusiasm that GW has. (for me)
It is a place that I can give back to others though and this is an important piece of the puzzle for me.
Of course Jim is a training/coaching professional so EU would be a natural market for him.
I’ve got to start checking out some of those networking events.