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Hifive! Bloomberg Businessweek…


Nobody likes to make small talk. Or wear a name tag. And very few possess the acrobatic skill required to simultaneously shake someone’s hand, offer a business card, and not drop a drink down his suit. That’s where Christine Hauer comes in. She’s a professional wingman, and she’s very pleased to meet you. And you. And him. And also that lady.

For a flat fee of $250, Hauer, 25, will attend one business event with you. She’ll start a conversation with the people you want to meet, talk you up in front of them, and fill the inevitable conversation lulls. (Hauer’s Networking Tip 1: “When you arrive at an event, take five minutes to survey the scene. Don’t rush up to the first people you see.”) For $75, she’ll help you prepare for the event ahead of time.

It takes confidence and a natural gift for schmoozing to be able to network for someone else. Hauer is enthusiastic and likable, and it doesn’t hurt that she’s also very pretty—last year a talent scout stopped her on the street in New York, where she lives, and asked if she wanted to model. (She said yes.) Hauer grew up in Aiken, S.C., and studied international business at the University of South Carolina. She moved to New York after college and got a job at a boutique communications agency, Thunder11. In January 2012 she started her own firm, Hifive Agency, at which she advises 40 clients, including tech entrepreneurs, musicians, and New York Jets defensive tackle Kenrick Ellis, on what she calls personal branding, which is a fancy way of saying PR. “I hate the word PR, it’s so … blech,” she says.

Soon after founding Hifive, Hauer discovered her clients all had one thing in common: They hated to network. “I’ve seen big executives who get nervous, freak out, or break into a dry sweat when they have to attend an event,” she says. “Which is a problem, because face-to-face networking is still the best way to make business connections.”

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