The Secrets of Effective Networking
Before we talk about specific networking tips I want to address a critical aspect of networking that is often overlooked. Sometimes we are so eager to network that we don't stop to consider whether or not we are investing our energy in the right places.
Listen, you can go to all of the networking meetings under the sun and collect hundreds of business cards while you're at it but if you're not hanging out with people you can do business with, you might make some new friends, you won't necessarily grow your business.
If you want to grow your business by networking it is imperative that you network with: people who are your ideal clients, people who know your ideal clients, and/or people who do business with your ideal clients. It's that simple. So before you sign up for your next networking event, ask yourself if it is a good fit for your business.
When you network with people who need your products/services (or know others who do) there will be a natural interest in knowing more about your business. Stop, not so quick - the story of you and your business comes later. First, let's walk through what happens at a networking event and I will give you a tip for each step.
Step 1: Meeting People
Enter the room with confidence, stand up straight and smile. Look for a friendly face and introduce yourself. If you don't see an opportunity to meet someone right away don't panic. A sure fire way to strike up a conversation is to get in a line (to sign in, for food, for drinks, for the restrooms). You can also approach the person hosting the event and ask for an introduction. In addition, if the list of attendees is available prior to the meeting you can identify someone you would like to meet and approach someone to ask if the person you are looking for is at the meeting.
Step 2: Getting to Know People - The Ed Principle
Instead of trying to be interestING (focusing on the 'ing') be interestED (focus on the 'ed') in the person you are talking with. You don't have to worry about what you will say (except for your brief pitch which comes later). In fact, you can make it a goal to talk as little as possible, I promise you will be remembered as a marvelous conversationalist. Memorize this phrase: 'Tell me more about...' and use it! Just relax, be yourself and listen.
Step 3: Giving First
Yes I know, the reason you are networking in the first place is because you want to get something. You want to meet more of your ideal clients and meet people who can refer to your ideal clients. But don't forget, networking is a two way street. It is about building relationships. I know you have something interesting to share, so why not give first? Perhaps you can recommend a great book or website, share an article, or maybe you can make a valuable introduction.
Step 4: Your Perfect Pitch
Eventually the person you are talking with may ask you what you do, so be ready! Don't ramble on about how long you have been in business or how your business process works. Do prepare a fabulous, short, and memorable pitch (10-30 seconds long) that clearly communicates what you do and for whom you do it.
Step 5: Ending a Conversation
Remember, all conversations must end at some point so don't be afraid to politely excuse yourself and thank the person for her time. Reasons to wrap up can include going to get another drink, something to eat, going to the restroom, or needing to talk with someone before they leave. Whatever the reason, be honest and be genuine.
Step 6: Follow Up and Follow Through
This one is so simple and important yet somehow it frequently gets ignored. If you promise to do something (call, send an article, make an introduction) do it!
Think about making use of these networking tips the next time you plan to do some networking. The truth is people do business with people they know, like, and trust. This occurs over time and is all about building relationships, not about collecting business cards. Be yourself, be real and have fun!
(c) 2005 Stephanie Ward
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR NEWSLETTER OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this information with it: Life & Business Coach Stephanie Ward helps business owners set their profits on fire! Get your free monthly profit tips plus bonus report at: http://www.fireflycoaching.com
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news
Ten Simple Steps to More Customers with Better Networking
Networking is a great way to meet people in a "non-selling" setting. So, don't sell.
Successful networking requires the understanding from the get-go that it is about what we can do for each other. Networking requires time, patience, and a commitment to helping others.
Five Stumbling Blocks To Successful Networking And How To Overcome Them
The ability to connect with people is essential to success in any business. Professional networking events present opportunities to interact with others on a personal level and to develop profitable relationships.
Sharpen Your Business Networking Skill To Grow Your Small Business
Most people become lax at maintaining their professional business network when they've worked with a company a while. With the constant rounds of mass layoffs, having a dead or outdated business network can mean business suicide to even the most skilled expert.
The 4 Attitudes of Awesome Hospitality
Hospitality relates to the Latin term philoxenia, or "the love of strangers." And stranger is defined as "someone with whom you have not yet been acquainted.
The Secrets to Networking Success
Recently I was interviewed for a book on networking. My first response was, "Hey, I don't network.
Is The Company You Keep Hurting Your Business?
When you look at your friends, it's like looking into a mirror. Take the sum of characteristics of the five people you spend most of your time with and you will be the average of that sum.
Lessons from the Wedding Mafia
One of my clients shared a story with me from his networking group, a chapter of BNI. Ivan Misner, the creator of BNI talks about what he calls "contact spheres".
Marketing Essentials: The 15 Second Elevator Speech
You're at a conference. Someone steps in the elevator, notices your name tag and asks, "So what do you guys do?" Quick -- what's your answer? You've got about 15 seconds before the doors open.
Why Cant I Start A Conversation With You?
One out of every ten Americans has a fear of talking to strangers. When you enter a room full of new faces, to start these conversations seems like an impossible task.
10 Effective Ways to Remember Names
Sigmund Freud says "a person's name is the single context of human memory most apt to be forgotten." Feelings of embarrassment and social ineptitude are conveyed through this forgetfulness, and unfortunately, the problem persists daily.
Effective Business Networking: 5 Tips For Mastering The Art of Networking
The heart of any business is the connection it has with other businesses and individuals that it can call upon to help meet its needs. Networking - any activity designed to create, maintain and utilize interpersonal connections - is an essential business skill.
Real Business Networking Doesnt Happen at Networking Events
Real networking isn't about handing out business cards at a networking event, or seeing how many you can collect before the event is over. Real networking is about relationships that, when cultivated properly, will breed referrals and positive word of mouth about you and your company.
Networking Group Loyalty Requirements
How can you find out the group loyalty requirements before you venture forth?Many groups have loyalty requirements in order to make sure that the leads you generate are exclusively for the members of the group. It is important that you make sure you know everything about the group before you join, and loyalty requirements can put a damper on other activities you have planned.
Volunteering for a Networking Group
When is it appropriate to volunteer to take a position in the group?Have you heard the saying that "the fastest way to get anything done is to ask a busy person"? It is very true. What it actually boils down to is the fact that busy people are often very well organized and have the ability to delegate some of their tasks.
Growing Your Network of People Can be Easy and Fun!
A few years back when I moved to Charlotte, NC for the first time, I came with high hopes of starting my business for the first time. We picked Charlotte because it was a growing city with a lot of potential.
Are You Sitting With The Right Company?
When I walked into Dallas's famous Y.O.
Client Attraction Technique #2: Networking
One of the most cost effective ways of generating leads and referrals. However it's important that you 'work' these opportunities in the correct way.
Why Cant I Remember Your Name?
You're terrible with names. You forget someone's name within ten seconds of their introduction, and it embarrasses you.
Create a 10 Second Introduction From Your USP
You can generate a ton of business by networking, whether you belong to a networking organization or just get referrals from existing (satisfied) customers. Whenever you meet a new potential client, it's important to create the right impression about you and your business straight away.
|home | site map|