Networking . . . It’s about building relationships and enlarging your “sphere of influence.”
Networking events are great visibility venues where clients and prospects can “get to know you better.”
Let’s face it — we all want to work with people we know and like!
There are many professional organizations, service groups, and local Chambers of Commerce who provide us all with ample opportunities to find work and clients. Join those groups where your target market gathers and regularly attend their meetings and social functions.
Not all professional networking groups might be right for you. Don’t give up after one meeting, regularly attend an organization’s functions for at least 4-6 months and bring the same consistent message, so that participants grow to recognize and trust you.
Instead of “working the room” and handing out your business cards like candy at Halloween, be selective —> pick 2-4 people whom you want to “get to know better” and start a conversation.
Remember: You are NOT selling your product/service at the meetings. You’re selling the appointment!
There are often opportunities to give a short “info-merical” about your business and service/product during meetings and other gatherings. This is the time to shine! Clearly communicate your services and/or products by specifically talking about how they benefit your clients.
Remember: It’s NOT about your business or service, but about getting others talking about their business.
Some questions to start a dialogue:
! What projects are you working on right now?
! What do you find most challenging about (your industry) these days?
! Tell me about your community involvement. In what other professional or civic organizations do you participate and what role do you play in those organizations?
! How is (some current event) impacting your industry/business?
A few things NOT to do when networking:
! First off, networking is NOT pushing yourself onto people who don’t want to talk to you. This is not the time or place for ‘cold call’ selling or telemarketing.
! Do NOT take up too much of their time; Don’t interpret polite interest as “please talk more.”
! Do NOT ask for a sale. You can, however, present your card and ask if he/she would like you to “follow-up” with some additional information.
! Do NOT talk only about your company/product or service. It’s about listening, learning, and understanding what others value and need.
Make an IMPACT!
2 Responses to “Networking Tips”
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.