Tennessee has always been one of my favorite places to network. The area is very scenic, there are plenty of activities you can do during the day, and the nightlife is to die for. I never turn down a trip to Tennessee!
Last month was especially exciting because a buddy of mine got married at the Belle Meade Plantation. Now, before everyone jumps down my throat for networking at a wedding, all professional networkers do it. In fact, I’d even go so far as to say that if you don’t network everywhere you go, you’re not really doing what you have to in order to be a great networker.
But, back to the wedding. If you’ve never been to the Belle Meade Plantation, you have to put it on your bucket list. It’s a beautiful plantation in the deep South and is one of the most luxurious mansions I’ve ever seen. There were plenty of connections to be made at this wedding, partially because my friend works in the financial industry and knows plenty of people. To give you an idea, there were more than 500 people at this wedding.
Some notable connections I made included a surgeon from Seattle, a police officer based in Philadelphia, a Nashville personal injury lawyer, and a very well-known stockbroker on Wall Street who I had met over Hors d’ouevres while waiting for the bride and groom’s first dance.
I often get asked why I mention the types of people I meet, and what I do with these connections after the fact. The purpose of mentioning the types of people I meet, and their professions, is to give would-be networkers the knowledge that potential connections are everywhere, and that it can include everyone. Even if you meet a homemaker, that can be a connection well worth having.
Once you have made connections, and you have a business opportunity you think they would be a good fit for, you can take a chance and try to set up a meeting to discuss it. Having already met and formed a connection, they are more likely to take you seriously when a client of yours has an opportunity that might work for them.
Another excellent way to keep building connections and maintaining those bonds is to hold your own events. I actually have a circus themed one coming up in NYC I’m looking forward to that should increase my professional connections considerably.
Keep an eye out for more updates on my upcoming networking event, and take a trip to Nashville sometime in the near future so you have that experience under your belt.