4 Tips on Networking with Mentors

By Brendan Aguiar

With the Speed Mentorship Networking program coming up this Wednesday, February 24th at the Ozmen Center for Entrepreneurship, we would like to provide you with tips for networking with potential mentors. Before we get started, you may be wondering what is a mentor?

A mentor is any person who possesses a certain type of knowledge, resources, and influence in the community, who can help you get your foot in the door for whatever business idea you have or profession you are pursuing. We will be bringing in mentors from throughout the Reno community next Wednesday. Here are five tips to help you network with a potential mentor.

1. Be Prepared

The first thing you should do when getting ready for any event is to make sure you are well prepared. You should always dress to impress. Note, this doesn’t mean anyone should put on lavish make up or buy expensive cufflinks. Be mindful of the kind of event you’re attending and dress appropriately. As for the Speed Mentorship Networking program, casual business attire is recommended. Bringing business cards, portfolios, resumes, sample works, etc. can be useful as well when presenting yourself to potential mentors.

2. Have Clear Goals

Think about what you want to accomplish before you attend the event. It is important to have attainable short term goals.  A short term goal could be as simple as wanting to connect with someone who will help turn your business idea into something tangible or someone who could use your expertise to support their business idea. Smaller goals eventually lead to bigger goals until you finally have the bigger picture.

3. Develop a Social Connection

Although it’s important for you to present yourself to a potential mentor, it is equally important to learn about them as well. Be sure to ask them plenty of questions about who they are and what they do, but also get to know them on a personal level.

Ask for stories rather than answers.

See how they view the world and what led them to their accomplishments and it will lead to a stronger relationship between you and your mentor. Even if the person you’re connecting with isn’t a mentor, be sure to ask them who they may know that could be a potential mentor for you.

4. Schedule a Follow-up

Once you’ve developed a connection with a potential mentor, it is time to follow-up with them. Be sure to ask for their business cards and preferred method of contact. Some people prefer texts and emails while others are more centered around social media.

Regardless of your mentor’s preference, it is a good idea to friend or follow them on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin., etc.

It is also a good idea to do a google search on them and the business they’re a part of as well. Follow-up within 3 days to get the best results.

Learning to network is very useful, not just for building relationships with mentors, but with sales people, business prospects, entrepreneurs, and all kinds of people on a professional and personal level as well. It is a technique that is improved upon over time.

With the right mindset and determination, you will be able to harness and find the mentors you need who can help you move forward and succeed in your business career. Special thanks to sales expert, Alice Heiman, for the networking tips she helped to provide for this blog.

You can learn more about Alice at her website here.  Brendan Aguiar is the Social Media Intern and the Ozmen Center for Entrepreneurship he can be reached here on LinkedIn.