How to Successfully Have Effective Networking Events in 10 Simple steps!
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Well we were supposed to segway into how to be a success at a business networking event even if its your first time ever. But we got side tracked into sharing our findings on the New Pinterest Algorithm Changes affecting your blog traffic. If you haven’t yet read that post go read it now!
So, ever attended a Business or Networking Event or Trade Show and got so tongue tied, you ended up walking around looking busy or sat in a corner sipping bad coffee?
I have been there done that and today I share with you 10 Tips on what you can do at any networking event to connect with more people, effectively network better and build some initial rapport, stand out for all the right reasons, and be remembered. We learnt these in an Online Leadership Mastermind and felt that more Online, Network Marketers, Home Business Entrepreneurs and Dynamic Corporate workers need to know them too!
So without further ado Below are our 10 Steps to Effective Networking at an Event:
One thing you need to remember right at the onset is:
- You can never please all the people all the time. You are only looking to connect with and impress upon a target few that you have value to offer and they may need that value! You are not there to impress or people please, rather to build the impression that they definitely want to connect with you! And here below is more practical guidance on how to do this…
- Set Goals for the Business event. What do you hope to achieve from it, what do you wish to accomplish and come out of the experience with: Seven warm connections, new friends, someone you can refer business to? Be clear. Set your plan and work the plan, be flexible as anything could happen and keep an open mind. By the way as per Ray Higdon training, I no longer take Business Cards to events. I am there to collect them! And I’ve learnt the suave Higdon way of ensuring I get the card without looking like an irresponsible dork for not bringing any!
- Learn about the community you are meeting prior to event and Target Your Audience appropriately. Research and find out about them on websites, blogs and through others that may know about them, or are members of the group.
- Find out about the Networking event Guest List. And see if attendees are potential target market or collaborators in a Joint Venture. When you know more about the some specific people that will attend and who you want to meet, do your homework and find out about them. Company, awards, community activity, accomplishments. This is great fodder for conversation. How would you feel when someone you didn’t know, approaches you and says, “I loved the blog post you wrote on how to be Open to Receive abundance”? It certainly says something to me about them. And when you arrive at the event….
- Pair up With a Mentor at the Start of he Networking event or trip, but don’t be glued to their side, remember you are there to make new connections. Find someone who knows the crowd and group and ask them to introduce you to a few influencers, movers and shakers, and potential clients/collaborators at the event. Coming with someone others know and respect says sends a good message to others about you. “You are judged by the company you keep,” is true for most.
- Scan the room and spot a group of people at business networking events that are not necessarily chatting with each other. Join them and focus on a specific person. Start a conversation intro yourself, what you do and ask about them! LISTEN to their response to learn whether you can enrich their lives in anyway. In your intro you will use that opportunity to use your “Elevator Pitch.” Learn what that is and how to craft yours in our post here. In this way you very briefly: Share Your Passion, Authenticity, And a Story People will really connect with the authentic you. Everyone has a story. It’s the new “elevator pitch.”
Note: Never barge in on a private conversation between 2 people at a networking event. None of them will appreciate it. If someone shows no interest in you, smile and excuse yourself.
- Work the Room, Get social, Mix and mingle, and try to have several warm interactions. Don’t monopolize or be monopolized. Engage and encourage mutual conversation and include others into it.
- Be inclusive But exclusive – you are NOT at any networking event to connect with everybody, rather with a select exclusive few. Find those few and the trick is to…See how making connections for others makes sense both at the event and after. How about making a few referrals for those select few esp. those with stands and tables with goods. You’ll be amazed at how helping out someone will get them in your favour fast. Also encouraging commonality and synergy can work with complimentary businesses. Always think WIIFT = Whats In It for Them…and then offer it!
- Asking Questions gets you the most connections. Remember if anything fails You can ask after an introduction: HCIHY (How Can I Help or Serve You?). ot what can I sell you, but how can I serve you. “Serving is the new Selling.” See most people, are there for themselves and show it, You will stand out for Offering to help…! Most people will be eager to give your their details in lieu of that help and service. They will also remember you when you…FOLLOW up 24-48 hrs after the event. This is one of the best Networking Tips, it is the new benchmark for networking. When people know you are in it for the right reasons and motives, the relationship naturally grows. Remember that Building trust, takes time so why not freely share knowledge expertise where its appropriate of course. Be you, Invest time and commit to it with people you feel good potential with and demonstrate a mutuality with….And Drum roll please…
- YES Follow Up & Do so promptly, purposefully after networking events. You are sorting and sieving now, the serious potential partners or customers from time wasters. You are reconnecting and rewarming those connections you made at the event. Offer to meet up for a cuppa or a bite. If not in same location, simply get to business and ask more deeply how you can specifically serve them? Offer a resource that may be of help to them. Schedule an online meeting via a hangout or Skype. Exchange social media profiles if they are open and find out if they are open to new opportunities. You could suggest a guest blog opp, mentoring, exchange referrals, collaboration, link swap etc. These are just a few examples to share when you reach out and Follow up.
And now because we love to over deliver, Below are…………
5 Things to Never ever Do at a Networking Event in Video Below & Share with Friends.
Networking Events Quick Recap:
More longer term and big ticket Relationships take time, effort and commitment. Some grow, some bounce but you won’t know which until you take action. Networking is a natural extension of all our interactions and communications today.
Always make it about them! Seek out just a few people that you want to connect with. Networking events are not about how many cards you collect. You’re goal is to connect with & start one or two meaningful relationships, that’s it. You do this best by asking “How can I help you grow your business”? “Who is a good referral for you”? Invite them for a Cuppa or a bite, send a handwritten thank you note for their time. Send them a few quality referrals if you can. Guess what? They will reciprocate sooner or later, & if not, you just did a random act of kindness, you will receive a reward Its the Law of Reciprocation. Networking isn’t difficult but it does take practice to reap the benefits. Come from a place of service first. Try it.
People will buy from you once they get to know, like and trust you. And likewise you’ll develop some amazing relationships as you connect with people who you get to know, like & trust & you will buy from too! We are pretty much networking all the time now aren’t we? What are some of the successful ways you have used in your networking?
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Want to know a secret? I plan to add more to this Networking Events best practice post as its coming to summer time and events galore. So do bookmark, Pin it and check back for more Tips to be added!
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