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How to Level Up Your Networking Skills and Make the Most of Every Event Connector, marketing expert and leader Carmen D. Jones gives tips for taking advantage of every encounter and following up for success.

By Alice

entrepreneur daily

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As a political appointee in the Obama White House and now as the CEO and President of Solutions Marketing Group, Carmen D. Jones has made a career from networking and relationship building. So much so that her friends have nicknamed her "The Connector."

To level up your networking skills, Jones says it's critical you push back your discomfort in a crowded room, because just one chance meeting could turn into the opportunity of a lifetime. The real work often happens after the event. Many of us have a growing stack of business cards stashed away in a drawer full of good intentions -- we collect them at events but often don't follow up. Jones advises entrepreneurs to be consistent in communicating with new connections after first meeting

Paralyzed as a junior in college, Jones has also made it a priority in her career to shift organizational dialogue, away from the basics of compliance for people with disabilities, and toward proactive and intentional conversations and strategies around reaching consumers with different abilities. After serving as the Senior Advisor and Director of the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Jones founded Solutions Marketing Group to do just that: connect the disabilities market with the companies, brands and products that want to better understand and serve them.

You can find Alice's best resources for entrepreneurs with disabilities here, and her best resources for post-event follow-up here.

Alice is a free digital platform that makes smart, instant connections between business owners and the resources they need to accelerate sustainable growth and global impact. Alice is open to all founders and prioritizes access for women and other underrepresented business owners.

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