Women in Business have needed their own “Old Boys Club” for a very long time. Jenny Powers, my Personal Brand interview of the week, has done just that…

In this blog, I share tips and best practices for developing and growing your businesses by smart Digital Marketing & Sales strategies, coupled with strong executive Personal Branding. Over the next several months, I will be sharing interviews with personal brands in business that I admire.

In today’s blog, I interview Jenny Powers, Founder and Leader of women in business and executive networking organization, Running With Heels. Developing true business relationships is a balance of proper online and offline networking. In a Social Media world, where business owners and executives are starved for time and bombarded by online communications, a critical way to create and nurture powerful business relationships is through creating them offline. Jenny has single-handedly, through her lunch and dinner networking programs, helped thousands of New York women in business develop strong business relationships. I had a chance to sit down with Jenny to get her best kept networking secrets to you. Read on:

(JS) Tell my Blog audience a bit about your background and how you got started in supporting proper networking.

(JP) “I’m an outgoing individual and when I realized how uncomfortable and awkward “networking” events felt, I knew I couldn’t be the only one who felt this way. In 2012, ready to throw in the towel and stop attending these events, I decided to put my 20+ years of event production and marketing experience to use and put together a focus group of women professionals to share what they loved and hated about networking events. It was that feedback that helped shape the Running With Heels community which offers a safe, fun, no-pressure environment to educate, entertain and empower working women through a series of curated events.”

(JS) Describe the mission of your organization

(JP) “Running With Heels mission is to elevate working women’s personal and professional lives through curated connections and inspiring conversations. We’re the antidote to the proverbial “Old Boy’s Club.” We’re the “New Girl’s Club” empowering women professionals to connect, collaborate and celebrate one another’s successes.”

(JS) Share the experience of a RWH dinner event

(JP) “I equate our Running With Heels dinner parties as “dinners with friends you haven’t met…until now.” Everyone is friendly, supportive and enthusiastic about being here. The Running With Heels community is about having one another’s back, personally and professionally. In addition to our dinners, we also host monthly power luncheons and other special events.”

(JS) Share any member success stories in positive relationship development

(JP) “One woman attended a dinner which resulted in securing three coaching clients and over $16,000 of income. Not bad for a $60 investment and 90 minutes of time! Another connected with our dinner speaker and through that introduction was featured on MSNBC’s “Your Business” as a small business expert. Another looking to get more exposure for her children’s clothing line met a women looking for vendors for her upcoming children’s expo and they were able to partner. Another is a lawyer for the NYC government however her dream is to be a fashion stylist. We introduced her to a fashion stylist in our community and she’s now working part-time for her to gain experience. Just so happens our fashion stylist was in need of some help so it was dream to fulfill two women’s dreams!”

(JS) Give my audience your 2-3 tips for best practices in business networking

(JP) “Arrive early before people have had the opportunity to pair off or join groups. It’s less intimidating if you let the crowd build around you as opposed to walking into a crowded room. Keep in mind, networking events are meant to build relationships not to close deals or fill quotas. If you walk up to a group in conversation, don’t interrupt. Listen first. In the meantime, to determine who is leading the conversation, look at everyone’s feet. They are usually pointing to the most dominant person in the group. Follow up, Follow up, Follow up.’”

(JS) How can a female executive or women business owner learn more about Running with Heels or attend an upcoming event?

(JP) ” We have several lunches and dinners lined up for the Summer and we welcome women in business of all types. Visit Running With Heels for more information.”