A wing person makes marketing sense

I read an article in a recent issue of Bloomberg Business Week that really spoke truth to me.

Titled “Hi, I’m a Human LinkedIn,” the article told about Christine Hauer who makes her living by being a wing person for those who know business is built through networking.

Hauer told Bloomberg “Face-to-face networking is still the best way to make great business connections.”

A “Harvard Business Review” survey cited in the article found “in surveying more than 2,000 companies in 2009, 95 percent of respondents valued in person interaction more than email and phone conversations.”

What impressed me was the advantage of having wing people can make networking more successful, easier and even fun. For those who do not know what a wing person is: Simply put, when applied to business, it’s a person who works a networking event in a different area from you, looking to connect you with those needing your service.

Why is this more successful than networking on your own? Having two people doubles the efforts – helping both of you find important contacts for each other.

Why is this easy? It’s easy to work a room for others. It is human nature to be self conscious promoting yourself, but to benefit our wing person? It’s easy. Fun. We will see ourselves grow into confident professionals through networking.

What could be more fun? Not all of us can hire a Christine Hauer as our professional wing person, but chambers are loaded with them. You can choose wing people from referral groups, young professional groups, women’s groups, pretty much anyone, attending events together with the intent of working the room to facilitate introductions for those in one’s wing family. 

Not everyone has a natural gift for schmoozing. But all can be a wing person, helping others meet potential clients. Do yourself a favor, develop a wing team for events.

Mixers cost nothing to attend and can be well worth the time.

• • •

Aug. 13 is the chamber’s Men of Monday Night Football Kick Off Mixer at Halftime Pizza and Ribs. Come hungry and ready to compete in the fun. Consider buying a book with one in 17 chances to win.

The next mixer is Aug. 20 at SideOuts Bar and Eatery in Island Lake. It’s sure to be well attended.

The mixer following this does the networking for you: Marketing Connection Group III’s Sept. 10 Barbecue Bingo. Great barbecue, networking and lots of prizes. Also, don’t forget to visit some of our referral groups or Small Office Home Office meetings. Check out our calendar at 

Save the Date for the Table Talk luncheon or Sept. 25, a Scramble for women and a few of their male pals at the McHenry Country Club.

Wednesday is our next Brown Bag Luncheon, “Using Organization to Achieve Your Business and Financial Goals.” Prosperity training offers tips to spend less time stressing and more time doing what we love. It’s free to attend and starts at noon in the chamber office.

The McHenry County Business Development Center comes to the McHenry Chamber at 7:30 a.m. Aug. 23 for a free event. On the docket will be tips for being successful with starting a new business.

Want to learn more about growing business through McHenry Area Chamber? Be sure to attend the next “Discover the Chamber” event on at 5 p.m. Wednesday in the chamber office.

• Kay Bates is executive director of the McHenry Area Chamber of Commerce.      

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