To many, it comes as no surprise that cultivating relationships, old and new, is good for your mental and physical wellbeing. There have even been scientific claims that connect increasing face-to-face interaction at local establishments to benefits of brain health. Likewise, meeting new people and making greater connections can positively impact your work life and business. So, if fostering relationships with others can greatly influence your health and overall well-being, how come this reality can feel like such an impossible feat? Just hearing about these benefits can often throw people into a tailspin of excuses that go something like "There's not enough time in the day" or "It's too hard to stay in contact with people" or "Work is too stressful and tiresome." Shh, Shhhhhhhh... it's going to be okay. We know building and maintaining relationships can be overwhelming, that's where Gardiner Association of Businesses comes in; and we're here to help.
For most, getting out of the house to meet new people is not at the top of the priority list, but imagine what might happen if this notion became more of a consideration. Even something as simple as attending a mixer in a local or nearby town can be a great way to make connections. A mixer brings business owners and employees alike together to socialize and network and can be highly beneficial to everyone involved. Seem overwhelming? It's not; especially after looking at a sea of friendly faces while sipping on an alcoholic beverage. Even so, if a mixer sounds nerve-racking, alleviate a worrisome outlook by setting guidelines for yourself beforehand.
Start with the right tools. Make sure you come to the meeting with business cards of your own and a brochure regarding your organization. It is equally as important to also bring business cards of friends and other company owners you feel comfortable referring. This event is about getting to know people and creating a network for yourself and others you're already connected with.
Create goals for the event. It's crucial to create goals for yourself before attending the event and place these goals somewhere outside of your usual comfort zone. Deciding how many people you want to meet is key to a successful mixer. Stick with your number, make sure to exchange business cards, and write notes on each card you receive.
Be sure to listen and ask questions. Sure, a mixer is a great way to boost your personal aspirations, but leave any "quick-fix" notions at the door. This is not the place to close a deal. Making connections is about developing a relationship with businesses and the people apart of them, which takes time and effort. Use a mixer as an opportunity to socialize and really listen; you might be surprised just how much gain can come of genuine interaction and interest.
Follow Up. So, you were the life of the party: you wined and dined, you introduced yourself to everyone there, you even have a handsome collection of business cards. These efforts will all be in vain, however, IF there is no follow up. The best way to do this is by writing a quick and simple email with an added personal touch (this is where the business cards you took notes on can come in handy). The professionals you met will appreciate the gesture and this can open the door to future business opportunities and the possibility of a friendship.
If you made it through this article, give yourself a nice pat on the back. You're one step closer to breathing life into your business and positively impacting your personal wellbeing; it's science. GAB's next mixer will be held at Gardiner Brewing Company on Thursday, January 17th from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm. There will be beer. There will be snacks. And hopefully, there will be a confident, I-completed-my-checklist, you.
For questions, inquiries or more information on what we do at Gardiner Association of Businesses, explore our new page, www.gabny.com.
Pictures and article by:
LACE Photo Media