How many people attend regular ‘networking’ events, but struggle to get the best out of them?
It would appear around 80% of these people are unsatisfied with what they get out of networking.
Crazy isn’t it?
So, here are a few simple tips to help your networking do that little bit more for you:
Always take with you:
- Business cards
- A pen
- You do not need to take any ‘marketing materials
- Remember to make sure your name badge clearly shows your first name, and wear it high up on your right side
Networking events are all about:
- Big Fish (seek out the people who are potential regular customers, great value suppliers or reliable referrers), and
- Coffee (all you have to do it arrange to have a coffee with them another ti
Two things you already have that are great for networking:
- Good manners
- The ability to talk
It’s just like getting to know anyone – the 5 steps in a networking conversation:
- Get into the conversation smoothly – develop a simple intro. e.g.: “Hi, I’m Bob.”
- Talk about them (first!) – ask lots of questions and be interested
- Talk about you when they ask – remember your AFTERs
- Chat – business interests, current affairs, sport, hobbies, local topics, etc
- Leave the conversation politely! Remember to ask who is their ‘ideal’ client, and who could you refer to them (and vice versa)
- Remember your AFTERs – the benefits clients are left with after they have worked with you
- Tell people what you do, not your job title – have an impact!
- Describe what sort of clients you work with or are looking for
- facts tell, stories sell – give real examples of your successes and explainthe need for what you do
- Differentiate yourself from your competitors and others in your industry
- It’s always better to say too little than too much – keep them coming back for more
- Don’t waffle!
What you are:
- You’re not an accountant – you help people pay less tax!
- You’re not an estate agent – you help people find their dream home!
- You’re not a web designer – you help businesses be more successful online!
Where networking is concerned, it’s only as difficult as you want to make it.
Give these easy tips a try, and let me know how you get on.
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