Face to face interaction is still one of the best ways to proactively prospectfor clients.
There are opportunities to network practically every day, for every time, and for every meal of the week!
How do you make the best of these events?
1. Choose wisely
Attend at least two networking events a month. Pick the events where your prospective clients attend. If you want to meet prospects who will buy your industrial widgets, attending a garden club meeting might not be your best choice.
2. Stop hanging with people you know
If you stand to the side talking with your spouse (co-worker, friend, etc.) for the entire event, you didn’t network. Your goal is to have meaningful conversations with three potential prospects.
Look like you’re somebody fun to be around! If you don’t feel well, stay at home. Successful networking is not for the faint of heart. You must put your best face forward.
4. Start talking to people you don’t know
Pick a topic that is of general interest to your audience. It doesn’t have to (and really shouldn’t) focus on your business. Wait until people get comfortable with you, then you can talk about a feature or solution to a common problem that you can help solve. Share highlights of your “60 Second Commercial.”
5. Don’t talk too much
Ask questions to get the other person talking about what they are interested in learning about, a project that they are working on in their business, problems or issues for which they are seeking solutions.
6. Screen prospects.
I’m a public relations professional, so once I connect with someone, I’ll ask if their organization outsources their marketing and public relations activities. If they say, “Oh no – we don’t do that.” They aren’t a prospect for IMPACT! I’m polite and complete the conversation, but will move on to someone else.
This is very, very important. In fact, it is the most crucial element of networking — and where most people fail.
Ask about IMPACT!’s “Accountability Partner” program, IMPACT! has follow-up strategies that will assist you in converting prospects into clients.
A secret tip: People are scared. We all want to stay in our comfort zones and don’t like rejection. So that great contact that you made at your last event who never called you back didn’t necessarily not like you — he/she might simply be a little nervous or busy.
Remember: At Networking Events:
You are NOT there to eat or drink, but to listen and learn!
Make an IMPACT!
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