032: Building a plan to make the most of every networking event from Kim Dandrea

Kim has been working with as a Private Client Risk Executive with M3 Insurance since 2015. Before that, she was a Personal Lines Insurance Manager and a Managing Producer for IFS. Formerly graduating from St. Norbert College in 1986, she's been lead to take on a position as the current YMCA Board Manager and Major Gift Foundation Chair for YMCA in addition to her Agency Operations Committee Chair. In her spare time, she's an all world half Ironman Athlete and enjoys participating in Triathlons.

What makes a successful networking event?

·         “For me, it’s preparation. I want to know who’s attending, what the focus of the event is, and what my purpose really is for attending the event. Sometimes that’s centered around a nonprofit, sometimes it’s about developing business relationships but in the end, they all do work hand-in-hand together.”

What does preparation for a networking event look like?

·         “I take a look at what an event is. Will it have centers of influence for me for my business? will there be people I want to do business with? Really, it’s about understanding the full scope of our business at M3 beyond just what I do.”


How do you follow up after networking events?

·         “I identify either one or two people that I want to cross-refer and I’ll bring a colleague to the table. Otherwise, I identify someone I want to connect with and I try to follow up within 24 or 48 hours to invite them for coffee or to visit our office.”


Share with us one of your best networking stories

·         “When I was at my prior employer, I developed a relationship with someone who was in the banking industry. During that time, we were both transitioning into new positions but we have continued meeting for coffee. Once we were both settled into our new jobs, we both put together our top three and shared them with each other. From that, we were both able to give each other a great referral that lead to great opportunities for our agency.”


How do you stay in front of your network or community?

·         “I have developed a monthly COI email, I’ve also identified events that give me face time, and finally I arrange 1 on 1 events quarterly or semi-annually to stay connected with my network.”


What advice do you have for business professionals looking to grow their networks?

·         “First identify some groups that you feel are relevant then check who the membership is. Attend that group once or twice and at that point, you should get a feel if it will be mutually beneficial”


Digital networking or traditional networking?

·         “A blend. In order to be successful, you need to do both.”


If you could go back 20 years, what would you tell yourself to do more or less of regarding your career?

·         “I tend to start off really fast and when I was younger, probably more so. If I could 20 years ago have slowed down a bit and nurtured the relationships right in front of me I would’ve been better in the long run.”


Who would you love to connect with and do you think you could do it within 6 degrees?

·         “The person I wanted to connect with I actually got to from that story I told you. That actually started from LinkedIn where I found someone that knew that person and I brought that full circle to get to that 6th degree.”


What book are you reading right now?

·         “’The Greatness Guide’ At M3 we have a quarterly all-employee meeting and our CEO was presenting and shared this book with us and I thought, ‘If he’s reading it, it must be good.’ The book is 101 lessons that are 3 to 4-page chapters and they’re outstanding.”


Any final words of advice for our listeners??

·         “Be mindful, take your time, and really hone in on those top 10 relationships you really want to make.”



You can get in contact with Kim at:


Reach out to her on LinkedIn and ask her to connect you with up to two of her connections!