Rashmi Dube is the managing director of the multi-award winning legal practice Legatus Law. She is a qualified solicitor and mediator specialising in business law with over 20 years experience in the legal sector. Often described as a leading voice for the SME sector in the north of England, Rashmi believes that the power of building genuine relationships is the key to success in networking. Her debut book encapsulates all of her secrets to success in an approachable and pragmatic way. So if you’re a newbie or consummate professional, there is something for you in Rashmi’s Making a splash – a personal guide to networking.
At some point or another we’ve all had to do some sort of networking, whether it’s personal or professional, we’ve all been in situations where we have had to meet new people with the aim of building some sort of relationship. For most of us, the thought of having to introduce yourself to a complete stranger is quite terrifying. What if they don’t like us? What do I do if there is an awkward silence?
Rashmi highlights one of the most important elements of networking as confidence and for those who lack it, she offers a helpful suggestion. Why not channel elements of those who inspire you? We all have heroes who inspire us, whether it’s their stage confidence or the way they command an audience when they speak. Like us, Rashmi is no stranger to suffering from that initial lack of confidence when entering a room full of strangers, so her suggestion is to channel elements of those who inspire you. Her personal heroes are her mother, Betty Davis and Oprah Winfrey who are all warm, confident, friendly and engaging women.
Once you’ve worked on your confidence, how do you tackle introductions? An elevator pitch – a brief but memorable introduction of yourself which lasts about 30 seconds. Of course it is important to mention what you do especially when networking professionally however that doesn’t have to be the entire focus of your elevator pitch. The key is to make it memorable so that anyone intrigued will take the bait and move the conversation along without you having to do all the work. Once introductions are made and you’ve spoken for a while and want to move on, Rashmi offers her top tips on how to do this without seeming impolite, after all, you’re there to network and meet as many people as possible.
How many times have you had a business card that you’ve not asked for stuffed into your hand by someone you’ve just met? We’ve all been there before and perhaps we’re guilty of it as well! But what’s the best way to hand over your business card and when is the right time? In Rashmi’s experience, it’s quite simple, when they ask for it. She covers best practice business card etiquette and why the follow up is perhaps the most important part of the transaction. After all, what is the point of networking if you’re not going to build on the initial meeting as the overall aim of networking is of course to build connections and relationships.
Making a splash is an easy read with a chapter for pretty much every possible networking scenario you might encounter. Some of my personal favourites are networking for newbies and networking with the opposite sex.
Rashmi gives practical and well thought out tips and advice which everyone would find helpful so whether you’re a seasoned networker or a newbie, there’s something for you in Rashmi Dube’s Making a splash: a personal guide to networking. It’s well worth the read!