“My name is Joanne Manville and I’m a Virtual Assistant”
This morning I attended my first Business Networking meeting as ‘Joanne Manville, Virtual Assistant’.
I made sure that last night I had laid out the clothes I was going to wear, to ensure that with sleep in my eyes I wouldn’t turn up in my PJs, which almost happened last week at the Exeter PA Network event when I woke up very late and threw on some clothes and ran out the door bellowing ‘I have to be there in 5 minutes!’.
Smartly dressed, with shiny shoes, immaculate hair (I also straightened that last night!) and with pen and paper at the ready I left home at 06.30hrs (yes, 06.30AM I tell you!!).
The networking breakfast was with the BNI City Wall, the Exeter City Chapter of the ‘most successful business networking referral organisation in the world’. Wow. Nervous would be an understatement, but I was ready and armed with all the networking tools that I had learned after three years in the PA Network and all the research that I had done on business networking.
In the reception of the hotel I was met with a very warm welcome from Tim, an Independent Financial Advisor, who is responsible for new members and used to work for the same company I did years ago, so it was great to have something in common. Tim swiftly and efficiently introduced me to the other members, including Matthew, a Google Business View photographer who made ME a cup of tea – any PA’s reading this will appreciate how rare that is!
The networking event followed a similar format to those I was used to, but with the addition of a one-minute talk about myself. Agh, what do I say? “My name is Joanne Manville and I am a Virtual Assistant” was a good enough start and then I began to relax. We received a presentation from Philip, a Bookkeeper and everyone shared business cards, details of their referrals and business gained in the past week. The focus of the group is getting to know one another and then referring business through contacts, rather than ‘selling’ to members.
Now home, the next thing I need to do is register for next week’s meeting and follow up on the conversations I’ve had this morning. Then its 40 winks, before I start my day!
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