The Young Entrepreneur Council is an invite-only organization composed of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. Read previous SmartBrief posts by YEC.
If you enjoy this article, join SmartBrief’s e-mail list for our daily newsletter for entrepreneurs.
Q. Have you ever speed-networked? If so, what did you get from it?
1. Made more new contacts than imagined
The advantage of speed networking is the volume of people you get to meet which otherwise would have taken years to amass. Speed networking allows you to quickly pass on contacts that would not bring value to what you are seeking, while being able to follow up with those who do. Toss any business cards from less valuable contacts and keep those who can generate returns. Speed networking is volume. — Diego Orjuela, Cables & Sensors
2. Gained more information
It seems like the less time people have to interact, the more they get down to business in what they share. This has helped me to collect more intelligence and information than I would have at a normal networking event where people tend to waffle on or get lost on tangents. — Murray Newlands, Sighted
3. Took the opportunity to take chances
I was able to make a quick impact on the entire network. I think its key to not just blurt out the same pitch for everyone, but quickly find the person’s interest and show them how they are aligned with yours. Sometimes you misread the people, but that’s the great part about speed networking: You get multiple attempts to get it right. So take risks with your interaction. — Artem Maskov, DEVTRIBE INC
4. Developed a “tight five”
There’s a term commonly used in stand-up comedy called the “tight five.” The first five minutes of a comedy set are extremely important, as they can set the tone for the rest of the performance. I had to develop a tight five of my own during speed networking, where I condensed the most interesting and important information about myself and my business ventures into five engaging minutes. — Bryce Welker, Beat The CPA
5. Got better at asking questions
I use speed networking to improve my question-asking skills. After sharing my story as quickly as possible, I dig into my counterpart’s experience. It’s an opportunity to quickly learn something new, while at the same time challenging myself to get deep quickly. One side benefit is that it’s easier to figure out who you really want to know. If they wow you in three minutes, you should follow up! — Aaron Schwartz, Passport
6. Found ideal connections through narrowing questions
Go with the intention of qualifying people. I begin by asking a broad question relevant to the pain point my company is solving. If anyone perks up, I direct my shortened pitch to them and end by asking increasingly narrower questions. If anyone is left standing, they are an ideal connection. Now I leave these events with meetings scheduled, which have resulted in investments and new clients. — Meghan Larson, Adistry
7. Developed my understanding on first impressions
My big takeaway from speed-networking was that first impressions matter. I met a number of very smart, driven individuals, but it was those that made strong first impressions that I remember. This carries over to the everyday world. First impressions are so important and they can set you apart from competitors, no matter the industry. — Abhilash Patel, Abhilash.co
8. Built human connections
I’m a believer that networking is about relationships, not transactions. Because of that, no matter the length of time you have with someone, I prefer not to start with anything resembling “What do you do?” or a pitch of any sort. I’d rather get to know the person as a person and see if we have any chemistry like I would with a friend. If that’s there, they’re someone I want to know more. — Darrah Brustein, Network Under 40