You may have heard of speed dating, which allows you to meet dozens of potential dates in a very short period of time. But have you heard of the business world’s version of this?
It’s not exactly dating… but it is an interesting way for people to meet dozens of other leaders both in and outside your industry.
It works very much like musical chairs, with rows of people facing each other. Each date usually lasts about five minutes that gives you the opportunity to give your elevator pitch and exchange business cards. After five minutes, a bell is rung and you to meet another person for 5 minutes.
While a 2 minute "networking date" won’t create a meaningful long term relationship in and of itself, it can help you create the initial brick of a foundation. Following up is crucial.
Speed networking is a great way to hone your elevator pitch, or your ability to tell someone in one to two minutes, what makes you stand out from others in your field.
Some speed networking tips:
- Bring plenty of business cards.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for the other persons business card.
- Follow up with an email within 12-24 hours as well as a hand written letter
- On the back of the other persons business card, make some notes about them to help you remember them and the conversation you had.
- Be clear in your own mind, as to what you do, how you can help the other person and express to them what a good referral for you would be.
- Don’t forget to pop a breath mint!
– Dan Koifman