HOW TO MAKE YOUR BUSINESS NETWORKING MORE EFFECTIVE …
1. Business Plan
Even before you go to a network meeting, have a written business plan.
This should include: What business targets do you want to achieve over periods, say, a month, 3 months, 1 year , 2 years…
What do you need to do to achieve the targets, If you need 1 new customer a month, you might need 5 warm prospects in the period, and to get the 5 warm prospects, you might need to contact 50 people. How many contacts do you need from networking and from other channels ( eg. web site, social media ) to identify the 50 ?
1. Networking to be only a part of your business development plan.
Having decided you need to make say 30 contacts from networking, how many network events do you need to attend in a month ?
A contact could be someone you have exchanged cards with, or people whose cards you got, and will follow up by email or Linkedin
2. Choice of networks groups
Many people go to the wrong type of group for their business. ( for example: say the typical attendee at a group is a ‘one man/woman’ size of business, but you are looking for the medium sized company with 15 to 50 employees. ) Ask the group organizer in advance of the meeting about the profile of the attendees. But be careful of the organiser who says “ we don’t have any/many of that size of business at our group, but our attendees have ‘other contacts’. This is rarely successful and if you want to make contact ‘through’ a group, you have to be prepared to revisit regularly, get to know the attendees, then work with the helpful ones…
3. Turn up early / plan to leave late
Turn up 15 minutes before the events starts, and plan to leave 15 minutes after it finishes . You will meet and talk to good networkers in these periods…
4. Your ‘Intro’ words ( one minute or otherwise )
Speak slowly and concisely … too many people mumble
State your name, company, and product or service.
Confirm who you are looking for and, try to include a memorable fact
5. Have props / leaflets
If appropriate have a visual prop, or sample, to make your ‘presentation’ memorable.
6. After the meeting communicate back with everyone there
Use email or Linkedin or text message to develop your list of business contacts
7. Talk to the Group Organiser
Most network group organisers are very experienced in running these events. Ask him/her for any advice on your presentation words. Say you are interested to return to further meetings, and, can he/she recommend other network groups to attend ……..
8. Ask about the other person’s business..
When talking to another person before or after an event… ask “ is there anything I can do to help your business” ? Stop thinking about YOU, think about HIM/HER.
9. Following up.
Identify a few people to have follow up meetings with. Have your diary with you
Log all contacts on a system, excel or a CRM system
10. Visit the chosen group(s) again and again …
With most groups you will meet new people at every visit to the same group
Build rapport with the people you have met.
…and finally. Don’t be afraid to talk to people who are ‘selling’ or promoting business building services: ( social media, web sites, business doctors/gurus , etc., etc . ) You will pick up good tips and ideas… and be prepared not to buy anything from him/her. However, he /she may have something which suits you and your business… ..
…and finally, finally …..… look up and read about effective networking . Here’s one suggestion: www.businessballs.com
Published by: Networkingaroundcroydon.co.uk