Networking Legends: A Participant’s Takeaways

pam nolchinLast Thursday’s Networking Legends community event at Dorsey & Whitney was not just well attended….it was powerfully attended. I am honored to have gathered together so many valuable individuals from dozens of essential companies and programs, like Pam Nochlin, founder of Thrive Women’s Group. Pam is a proud and active supporter of the health, well-being & success potential of our corporate community, with a dedicated focus on women’s progress. Her work is an inspiration to WAC, and it was a thrill to see her in attendance.

In addition to helping make our event a success, Pam has graced us with a detailed rundown of her takeaways from the evening, which she described as full of “good advice, practical tips and words of wisdom that are sure to make your next networking experience a win/win”. Let me share her outline with you, and extend a warm thank-you to Pam for all of her efforts. Additionally, keep an eye on our blog for more discussions on the topic of networking, as inspired by our expert panelists from the event. -Deborah

Networking Legends: A Great Event With the Women’s Advancement Compact

Deborah Goldstein, founder of WAC, moderated a panel discussion on What it Takes to Be a Great Networker (Hint: If you’re not tired when you leave, you haven’t done it right!). Deborah started the discussion by laying out her four stages of successful networking:

1: Growing Your Network

2: Nurturing Your Network

3: Managing Your Network

4: Leveraging Your Network

The Do’s & Don’ts of NetworkingIMG_6152


-Set your intention before you go, i.e.: “I will meet X number of people.”

-Go with reserve topics (read the paper and top headlines before heading out)

-Ask how you can be helpful

-Offer to do a favor (but don’t expect one in return)

-Be clear about what you want, even if you have to spell it out

-Wear your business name badge on your right side, not over your heart. It’s where someone’s eye normally lands during a handshake.


-Spend too much time talking to the person you arrived with or those you already know

-Discount someone because they may be your junior

-Get caught checking your phone

-Start networking just because you need a job

IMG_6189Tips For Introverts

Work the perimeter….look for someone standing alone

-For women, compliment her outfit/bag, shoes, etc

-For men, ask if he’s a member of the organization or has been to these types of events before

-To approach a group, practice “triangling”: Look for a group of three, as it’s easier than breaking into two who are in conversation

-You can shine in the follow-up email you send!

To Create Instant Intimacy

-Raise subjects unrelated to work, i.e.: favorite books, where they went to high school, vacation plans, etc. Find a common interest

-Listen more than you speak

-Ask questions….people will feel your interest

Ending a Conversation

To gracefully bring a networking conversation to a close in order to maximize your time at an event, offer to introduce the person to someone else at the event, or ask for an introduction. You can also say:

“It’s been great meeting/talking with you but I don’t want to monopolize your time.” Or, “I promised myself I’d meet/talk with four people tonight and I still have two to go.” Or, “I’d like to get/refill my drink/get something to eat.”

Networking is Not Just For Events!IMG_6445

-Don’t wait for events to network….network in your own company

-Don’t waste a lunch hour alone

-When you arrange to meet someone, ask if they would like to bring a colleague. Offer to bring someone as well

-Network with people who impress and challenge you

Other Memorable Takeaways

-Know your purpose for being at a networking event

-People remember how you make them feel

-Have a high reciprocity index

-Give, Give, Give….Ask!

-If someone refers you, be sure to keep the referrer in the loop

-Heed the advice of anthropologist Robin Dunbar, who proposed that Dunbar’s Number (150) is the maximum amount of social relationships that humans can comfortably maintain.

IMG_6317Tools of the Trade

-Condense your business cards into a reader app: ScanBizCards

-Manage and track your relationships on

-Sharpen your networking approach by reading Gary Vaynerchuk’s book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World


Pam Nochlin is VP, Marketing Creative Manager, Citi Consumer Cards and founder of THRIVE Professional Women’s Group