Let’s assume that you are planning to attend a networking event at your local chamber of commerce or some other type of event. You are nervous, paid a lot of money to attend and took time out of your day. You wonder if this will be a return or a total waste of time.
What should you plan to achieve while there? How should you prepare to maximize your effectiveness? Here we will list the top 10 items you should consider and focus on to make this event successful.
Networking Tools at Your Fingertips: Your business card file should include business cards for other professionals you can refer new business to, as well as an informative name badge, business cards, and brochures about your company.
Decide How Many People You Want to Meet: The attendance and type of group should be used to identify a reachable goal. You might want to set a goal of meeting 15-20 people and getting their business cards. Whenever you’re feeling uninspired, shoot for less. Do not leave before you have met your goals, regardless of what the case may be.
Think Like a Host, Not Like a Guest: When a guest sits back and relaxes, the host is expected to do everything for them. Make yourself available to greet people. Try introducing yourself and asking if visitors would like to meet others if you see them sitting. Serve as a conduit.
Ask and Listen to Others: Networkers should use their ears and mouths proportionally. Describe your own work after learning what someone else does. Briefly but precisely describe the situation. You shouldn’t assume they are familiar with your business.
Avoid Closing Deals: Taking advantage of these events does not mean you’re trying to sell your products or services to businesspeople. Relationship building is the goal of networking. The process of meeting people is not concluded after attending an event but should be the first step.
When Possible, Make Referrals: As the saying goes, “What goes around comes around.”. This philosophy is what the best networkers believe in. My help will benefit you, and you will benefit me, and we will both benefit as a result. Therefore, networking effectively isn’t possible if you don’t genuinely try to help your contacts. When you are unable to offer a bona fide referral, you can provide some information they may find useful (such as details about an upcoming event).
Send Business Cards to Each Other: Every time you meet someone, ask them for two cards – one to pass on to someone else and one for you to keep. By doing this, we are setting the stage for networking to take place.
Be Efficient with Your Time: Don’t linger with friends or associates and spend no more than 10 minutes with each person you meet. Whenever you are meeting a number of people, avoid spending too much time with any one of them. Make an appointment to speak with someone you meet who interests you further.
Keep a Note on The Back of Each Business Card You Collect: If you want to remember each person more clearly, record anything you think may be useful. Following up on each contact will be easier if you have this list.
Stay on Top of Things- Follow-Up! Following up effectively means more than simply obeying the previous nine commandments. Make sure to follow up with everyone you’ve met by writing a note or calling them. Be sure to keep any commitments you have made.
Use these tips to network through your next business networking event, and I guarantee you will be more comfortable, and you will get more effective results. If you tend to get nervous about attending business networking functions, use the tips above to help you feel more comfortable.
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