How can it be that one business woman can walk into a room full of networkers and gain a new lead and an opportunity and another walks out despondent thinking “What did I do wrong?”
Personally I’ve walked into a new networking group that I’ve never attended before and gained a new client. I know that it is not about expecting that, that it is about building good relationships, growing your network to raise your profile, improve brand awareness and get known as the thought leader in your industry, so that when someone is ready to buy it is you they buy from. However it is not a one off that I’ve gained new business on my first visit to a networking event.
So here is my top tip guide as a sneaky peek to 2 of the speaking engagements I have at the BWN this Autumn. I like to keep my speaking engagements relevant, interactive and packed with real time solutions, so feel free to bring your questions for me to answer for you on the day.
- AIM – What is the aim of you being there networking on that day? Know in advance what you want to see happen. If you know this information you can ensure that is what you get into conversations, what is in your elevator pitch (even if you don’t know if they have that opportunity, prepare one anyway to get your mind focussed.)
- SELLING – It is not about selling at people. Remember it is not about selling at people, its about sharing knowledge, being useful and being interested in other parties. Be the networker that people look forward to catching up with.
- FOLLOW UP – What is your follow up strategy? You need a clear follow up strategy. At our new Saturday North Essex event this September I will share with you in more detail what that looks like, however for now ask yourself “Do I have a follow up strategy and is it working?”
- ACTION – What action do you want people to take? As I like to say unless you are selling Ferrari’s for a £1 then it’s unlikely people will buy from you on the day. What action is it reasonable to assume that you could ask people to do?
- DON’T – Sign those new contacts up to your mailing list, manipulate the conversation, or throw business cards at people like you’re trying to create your own human wall paper. All of these things (and more) will not ingratiate you to new contacts and get you known for all the wrong reasons.
- EXPLAIN – Ensure you explain things simply. If you can’t then you risk the problem that other good networkers are not in a position to speak about your business at other events they attend as they get to know you. A major role of networking is that it enable you to grow your network, even if you are not in the room. The amount of times I’ve had a call from someone that starts with “I met Mrs X and she recommended I give you a call.” That is what you want to see happen. So that other people are marketing your business for you. And remember this can be powerful as long as it’s a win win relationship. And you are out there doing that for other networkers you meet too. To achieve this ask yourself “Can I simply explain what this person does?” “Do I know who this person would love to meet?”
And remember if you get the above right. If you come across in a genuine, useful and friendly way then people won’t let you fade from their minds. If you rearrange the above top tips the first letter of each word will spell the word Fades, and trust me that is the last thing you want to see happen that you fade from peoples minds. That would be a waste of your time and money and could jeopardise your business success, and who wants that?
I look forward to seeing you at our September line up of events. Check out our home page to see what is coming up in your area. Don’t see what you are looking for? Then let’s talk about bringing the BWN to your area and helping you to get paid to network.