How can one person walk out of an event and think “That was awesome and so good for business!”
And another walk out and think “What a waste of 2 hours, that did nothing for my business!”
How is that possible?
Who is right?
The BWN has hosted thousands of events across the East of England (and are now in London and Warwickshire too and we never thought we would say this but thanks to Covid 19 we are now seeing business owners from often 7 counties and 3 countries attending our events – recently we had guests from Ireland, Dubai, America, Sri Lanka, Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgshire, Lincolnshire, Hertfordshire, London, Warwickshire and Kent!) Our events for women in business around networking and business growth and are now in our 12th year and yet we still hear comments from both extremes. (Mostly we hasten to add exceptionally positive ones with women saying it’s the one thing in the month they will never miss.)
So what makes networking powerful and how can you ensure it wasn’t a waste of two hours?
No one bought anything from me!
If no one is buying from you it is not the fault of the networking organisation, it’s your fault. (Sorry to be blunt) We actually heard someone say “The people in this group don’t spend money” and the very next conversation our coordinator had that day was with a woman in business who told us that she realised that in a year and half she had made just over £50k of sales from our network alone. (She is not alone in results like that we have members making over £100k of sales every year with us! Someone was definitely spending money!)
So how could it be so different for these 2 business women in the same room of people?
A number of things impact on your networking success for sales;
So can a network be good for one and not another? We think there is enough space for all of the networks and that ensures every business owner can network in a style that suits them. We also think that some business women don’t appreciate the full value of networking to grow a successful business and alas as the saying goes “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” And for us, our careers have rocketed since we networked regularly at The BWN and yet we never miss the events we say we will attend. We know the true value of networking and how to maximise the benefits for you too. We are happy to have a chat about that anytime so you can get maximum benefit too.
If you are struggling we have the following additional learning to help your business;
Course – How to find your target audience and get them buying
Course – How to rocket your confidence
Course – Highly effective ways to rocket sales with no cost / low cost marketing strategies.
Course – Supercharge your 60 seconds.
Course – How to be a powerful successful public speaker – anywhere!
Course – Foundation blocks to a highly successful business.
Book – Your Daily Dose of Business Woman’s Confident And Success
Book – Fight the fear – how to beat your negative mindset and win in life.
Book – The BWN Networking Success Manual – the genius book to get the most out of networking.
Book – Taking Control of your mind – lifehacks to resilience, confidence and success.
This article was written by Mandie Holgate, Founder of The Business Womans Network, International speaker and author, her books are highly acclaimed by business leaders, leading authors, a good few celebrities and business owners around the world. Fight the fear (the book that looks at the top 12 fears that impact on success) and Taking Control Of Your Mind are just 2 of the must read books that make business and success easier. You can meet Mandie at the Colchester and Braintree events and she pops into as many events across our network as she can each month now delivering an hour free of coaching and mentoring for all of our guests. Mandie is happy to connect with all women in business so feel free to do this via her website – www.mandieholgate.co.uk
1. You keep selling. Seriously stop selling. Networking is about building good relationships and getting to know people, you need to stop putting you on your agenda and start putting other people on your agenda. Who do they want to know? What do they need? What are they looking for? Etc, etc. The more you learn about your fellow networkers, the more powerful your network and more useful you become.
2. Just flip Top Tip 1 on its head. You have no agenda, so know your agenda. Most people rock up to a networking event, head for the coffee, and the people they already know and generally chat, that is great and really good to build good relationships but have you thought prior to the event what your goal is? How does this networking event fit in with your marketing strategy? Go knowing what you want to achieve, but don’t start selling!
3. You are not prepared. Prepare a elevator pitch of around 45 seconds regardless. This helps focus your mind on what you want to talk about, what will your call to action be? What do you want people to be doing? What results would you like to see? (And the results you want to see after one networking event is 15 new clients, unless you are selling Ferraris for a £1, its not likely to happen, so think through what you really want to see happen.)
4. You can say what you like right? Wrong. People know people. And the whole point of networking is that people get to know you. If you turn up and start bad mouthing another person or network, it is highly likely to get back to them. Respect everyone and be aware that you are a walking bill board for your business. Did you know it takes 300 to 500 millionth of second for a person on the word “Hello” To decide what they think of you. So what are you projecting? How do you look after your reputation and get known for the right reasons?
5. You don’t follow up. It’s no good going once and assuming sales will start falling from the sky. (We are back to the Ferrari’s for a £1 aren’t we!) Going once is not enough. You need to go to the same network at least 4 times to find out if it is right for you, don’t make assumptions that these people are no good for your business, you don’t know yet who they know. So go regularly to really benefit and follow up effectively. Connect on social media, get to know them. If you said you would send a great top tip or share a link to a funny story, do it!
Networking is not rocket science but it does take respect, knowledge, strategy, focus and action. There are a ton of other things it needs, but for now get noisy about other people. Get engaging, take action and let us know how you get on.
This article was written by our Founder Mandie Holgate. To learn more about Mandie Holgate visit the Essex page or www.mandieholgate.co.uk