S U MM E R 2 0 1 8 7 BUSINESS connections Employee Profile Meredith Roe Business Sales Project Manager Meredith Roe joined Adams in September 2015. She previously worked as a Project Manager for iWireless out of Iowa and as Membership Coordinator for the Quincy Family YMCA. Roe describes her responsibilities as Business Sales Project Manager this way: “I handle the sales service ordering and supervise the process from sold to installed. I schedule and dispatch business install technicians, as well as our Experts PC and phone technicians, and quote services to businesses that call with inquiries. I also provide account management for existing customers.” What does Roe enjoy most about her job? She replies, “I love how busy we are! There’s always something to do. And I truly enjoy the group that I work with—they make every day fun and exciting.” Roe and her husband Chaise live in Quincy with their son Camden, born last August. “We love watching him learn and grow every day. I also still work part time for the Quincy Family YMCA as a Membership Specialist. Life is busy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way,” she says. Make the Most of Networking Events If you’re looking for opportunities to connect with other business people in your area, you may be familiar with this scenario: You’ve identified a networking function to attend. You’ve armed yourself with business cards; you’ve located the event; and you’ve signed in and affixed a nametag to your shirt. You see a roomful of people and have no idea what to do next. Networking functions can be intimidating, but engaging in meaningful conversations at these events is a learnable skill. Here are a few strategies to try: 1. Don’t just be interested in getting business. Instead, focus on starting and nurturing business relationships. 2. Have an informal “elevator speech ,” or 30-second commercial ready to deliver when people ask what you do. It should include the products or services you provide, your target market, and what makes you unique. 3. Find common ground. When you’re in a conversation with a group, ask if the other people have been to the event before, if they know many people in attendance, or what brought them there. 4. Ask questions. Find out what the other person does and comment on anything you find interesting or that might indicate a starting point for doing business together. 5. When someone hands you a business card , read it carefully to see if anything catches your attention or interest. 6. Have a goal for each event (e.g. meet five new people), but be open to other possibilities (e.g. reconnecting with a former coworker). 7. Don’t be shy. Remember, everyone is there for the same reason—to connect. Even if networking doesn’t come naturally to you, the effort is worthwhile since attending these events may lead to significant business relationships. So get out there and get talking.