Green Light Distrikt is about entrepreneurship focused on the cleantech sector. GLD U provides cleantech courses . Edited by Chris Williams with frequent guest posts from friends, experts and industry insiders from clusters across the globe. Our goal is to provide a place where cleantech entrepreneurs in various clusters across the globe can learn from one another. Green Light Distrikt is creating the "Hitchikers Guide to Clentech" to provide a resource for cleantech entrepreneurs. Read more
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March 29th, 2011
But seriously. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been at a conference or event and bumped into an incredibly valuable contact just by chance. You know the drill. You walk into a room with 25 tables, each half full of people. You chose one at random, and awkwardly avoid making eye contact for 2 or 3 minutes. MMmmmm this coffee is good… Wow, I bet I have three emails. Oh, and a text! They’re probably all really important… “Hi. I’m Angel,” comes the introduction out of the chair to your left. “Oh, hi! I’m Jesse. Tell me, Angel, what do you do?”
Ten minutes later, everyone who sent you an email is anxiously sitting at their keyboard, “Jesse NEVER takes this long to respond to my emails! It’s been TEN MINUTES!”
And you’ve found an angel, The Angel, actually, who you were looking for. They may have advice, they might have contacts, or even a little cash. Depends on what you’re looking for.
The important thing is, you put yourself out there, and you were rewarded.
Two key things. First, show interest. Your elevator pitch works best if it’s been explicitly asked for or if you’re in a speed networking (or dating…) situation. Save it for when it’s most useful. In the mean time, foster a relationship.
Second, make the connections. This is how you foster a relationship. Help them, and they’ll help you. And don’t be modest. Everyone has something to share. Maybe it’s just a tidbit that you learned from the news that they’ll find interesting. Maybe it’s a networking or professional group they didn’t know about that you can give them the low down on. Maybe it’s a contact they can benefit from. Just because someone has more grey hairs than you doesn’t mean they know everyone who’ll be useful to them in Boston and beyond.
I’m a successful networker because I remember names, I remember interests (because I asked about them), and I can connect the dots. So can you.
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