Networking is a great way to expand your contact base, find new clients & spread the word on your business. However, it can be tough going into a networking meeting & being confronted with all those new people! Here’s our top tips for getting the most out of networking events & weekly networking groups.
- Put the Phone Away.
It can be tempting to use your phone as a crutch, a familiar safety zone of social media & whatsapp groups. If you are on the phone then you are unaccessible for conversation. Look around the room, head for the tea & coffee & look for a friendly face to chat to.
- Have a conversation starter.
Ok so this totally goes against my above point but “hey, do you know the wifi password” can be a great conversation starter, as can “is anyone sitting here”. Introduce yourself & always be friendly and smile.
- Ask Questions.
When you start chatting with new people ask interesting questions. Step away from the standard boring questions – “did you travel far today” or cliche – “do you come to these sort of events a lot”. Ask where they work, or if they work for themselves how they got into it & what inspired them to start their business.
- Elevator Pitch
What do you do in a catchy, quick way under 60 seconds. Think of it this way – if you were in an elevator (or Lift for anyone this side of the pond) with a business investor, how would you hook them in?
I work with businesses all over the world helping them make money & enhance their business presence online, getting them more customers & then increasing their bottom line.
- Collect business cards & contacts
Dont be the person who gives everyone your business card whether they ask for it or not. If you make a connection with someone and see value in staying in touch (for either party) make sure you get either a business card or get the phone out and make an instant connection on Linkedin or Facebook.
- Follow up.
Once you have that connection made make sure you follow up and don’t miss an opportunity after the event. Reach out on Linkedin, via e-mail or set up a cup of coffee. Broaden your network with your new connection by asking if they know anyone who might be interested in your products/services.
Bonus Tip – Like that classic song by the free radicals ‘you only get what you give’, in networking its best to be authentic & give first before you start asking for favours or information. Likewise you will only get out of your networking relationships that which you put in, so build trust, be genuine and help people out.