Have you ever attended a social event or a networking function where you knew no one? Were you “out there,” introducing yourself and getting acquainted? Or were you a “wallflower” stuck like ivy against the wall in need of a bolder soul to drag you into the crowd? Has the COVID-19 pandemic stripped you of the few networking skills you formerly possessed?
Tom and I just got back from an event where we didn’t know anyone, except for the hostess. But there were definitely plenty of people worth knowing. At first, we kept ourselves stuck behind the protection of good food, good wine and the good company of each other. But let’s face it, we could have stayed in the comfort of our own home and enjoyed that without venturing to downtown Houston on a rainy night.
Simultaneously we looked at each other and knew it was time to move out from our protective shell and start meeting people. We couldn’t wait for people to come to us. We started with people who were standing alone and then moved on to groups large and small. Small talk was easy. We’d ask a person what they thought of whatever they were eating and then it was easy to move the conversation to what they did, their connection to the hostess, etc. We met some very interesting people (bankers, local television broadcasters, people who worked for Houston’s Metro, women entrepreneurs and a few attorneys too) and when it was time to leave we left satisfied that we not only enjoyed the event but made the most of it.
Believe it or not, boldly introducing myself doesn’t always come naturally. But I keep in mind that contrary to the Cinderella stories that occasionally make the news, most wallflowers never get “discovered.” Had Cinderella arrived at the ball on foot and wearing her sooty rags, it’s unlikely the prince would have given her a second look. Instead, six white horses delivered her to the castle in a golden carriage. She made a grand entrance in her ritzy new ball gown and spectacular slippers. However, if like me, you don’t have a golden carriage or white horses at your disposal, you’ll need to find other ways to make that good impression and avoid being a wallflower.
To raise your Certified Legal Nurse Consultant business to the next level, don’t waste a single networking opportunity being a wallflower. Your legal nurse consulting business will grow in direct proportion to the impact you make wherever you go but you’ll have to be the one to make that impact.
Try and talk with everyone and introduce yourself with a firm handshake. Remember, just about everyone at any event you attend will know an attorney or someone who knows an attorney. If you’re not sure what to say, always ask the person something about themselves. Most people leap on that topic. You can also ask how they are enjoying themselves. I have found these questions to be the easiest ways to get a conversation started.
Try using these tips the next time you find yourself at an event with a bunch of strangers and you won’t need your ritzy ball gown or even spectacular glass slippers but you might be able to eventually afford a golden carriage or other transportation of your dreams.
Success Is Yours,
Vickie Milazzo Institute
P.S. Comment and share your Cinderella story and your strategies for assuring you are never a wallflower.