The Secrets of Effective Networking
Before we talk about specific networking tips I want to addressa critical aspect of networking that is often overlooked. Sometimes we are so eager to network that we don't stop toconsider whether or not we are investing our energy in theright places.
Listen, you can go to all of the networking meetings under thesun and collect hundreds of business cards while you're at itbut if you're not hanging out with people you can do businesswith, you might make some new friends, you won't necessarilygrow your business.
If you want to grow your business by networking it isimperative that you network with: people who are your idealclients, people who know your ideal clients, and/or people whodo business with your ideal clients. It's that simple. Sobefore you sign up for your next networking event, ask yourselfif 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 inknowing more about your business. Stop, not so quick ? thestory of you and your business comes later. First, let's walkthrough what happens at a networking event and I will give youa 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'tsee an opportunity to meet someone right away don't panic. Asure fire way to strike up a conversation is to get in a line(to sign in, for food, for drinks, for the restrooms). You canalso approach the person hosting the event and ask for anintroduction. In addition, if the list of attendees isavailable prior to the meeting you can identify someone youwould like to meet and approach someone to ask if the personyou 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') beinterestED (focus on the 'ed') in the person you are talkingwith. You don't have to worry about what you will say (exceptfor your brief pitch which comes later). In fact, you can makeit a goal to talk as little as possible, I promise you will beremembered as a marvelous conversationalist. Memorize thisphrase: 'Tell me more about...' and use it! Just relax, beyourself and listen.
Step 3: Giving First
Yes I know, the reason you are networking in the first place isbecause you want to get something. You want to meet more ofyour ideal clients and meet people who can refer to your idealclients. But don't forget, networking is a two way street. Itis about building relationships. I know you have somethinginteresting to share, so why not give first? Perhaps you canrecommend a great book or website, share an article, or maybeyou can make a valuable introduction.
Step 4: Your Perfect Pitch
Eventually the person you are talking with may ask you what youdo, so be ready! Don't ramble on about how long you have beenin business or how your business process works. Do prepare afabulous, short, and memorable pitch (10-30 seconds long) thatclearly 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 beafraid to politely excuse yourself and thank the person for hertime. Reasons to wrap up can include going to get anotherdrink, something to eat, going to the restroom, or needing totalk with someone before they leave. Whatever the reason, behonest and be genuine.
Step 6: Follow Up and Follow Through
This one is so simple and important yet somehow it frequentlygets ignored. If you promise to do something (call, send anarticle, make an introduction) do it!
Think about making use of these networking tips the next timeyou plan to do some networking. The truth is people dobusiness with people they know, like, and trust. This occursover time and is all about building relationships, not aboutcollecting 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 ownersset their profits on fire! Get your free monthly profittips plus bonus report at: http://www.fireflycoaching.com
Practice Makes Pefect
What is the problem when people try to describe what they do and they stumble over their words and never consistently repeat the same message?
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".
Five Steps for Expanding Your Customer Base with Guerilla Networking
As a single company, it is impossible to provide your customers with all the services they desire for every aspect of their life; but with guerilla marketing, you can come close. By partnering with companies that provide different, yet complimentary, services to your business, you can create a network of reliable resources for your customers. In turn, your company will gain credibility and strength from the size and stature of the group.
Networking: Is Your Approach Too Self-Centered?
It's a classic mistake by networkers: their approach is focused on their own needs rather than on the needs of their contacts.
How to Collect Business Cards
Why the business card grab is not why you are there?So how do you obtain the card and show interest that gains confidence?
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. There was a booming down town and cultural events were starting to make their way to the area.
Networking for Wallflowers: How to Profit from Getting into the Crowd
The two most common complaints about networking are: 1) I never meet people I can do business with and 2) I am always so uncomfortable going to networking events. These two complaints are related and can be relieved with a three step approach to networking that helps even the most frustrated networking wallflowers.
Networking - How To Do It
Networking is probably the oldest, easiest, most effectiveand least expensive way to get more business. Itdoesn't necessarily involve selling your product or servicebut it does mean selling yourself. However, that doesn'tinvolve a lot of talking - it does involve a lot oflistening.
Who Are You and What The Heck Do You Do?
A few years ago, I was attending a family function when I ran into a cousin of mine. Having not seen her in more than three years, she told me that her son had graduated from law school and had passed the bar examination and was now a lawyer at a very prestigious law firm in New York City.
How to Shmooze
Definition: talk idly or casually in a friendly wayValue: priceless
Networking: Strangers, Friendship, and Business Growth
You already know that uncomfortable feeling, that knot in your stomach that forms, when you enter a room, a bus, or any other location where only you and a total stranger occupy the formerly quiet space. What do you say? Do you say anything? Do you even dare make eye contact? Do you locate a point exactly 180° away from the other person and make that spot your own?
Ask for Referrals: And Get the Answer You Want!
Why are people scared to ask for a referral? Is it the fear of rejection, or do they think that it will annoy their client. If you have been giving 100% to your client and have given them truly excellent service then you shouldn't be ashamed to ask for the opportunity to give that same superior service to other people your clents know. In fact, it seems like the next logical step especially if the client is happy with your service so far.
Networking in the Change Room: 5 Ways to Network Effectively While Getting Undressed
There's a time and place to network with people in order to generate leads, build rapport and form meaningful relationships. The change room at your gym, spa or country club isn't one of them. It's a lousy place to do any networking. Things dangle, imperfections are visible and being naked means that you're vulnerable.
When Gifts Say More
What's a gift mean? If you're like me, you probably focus on the giving and the getting.
Giving Referrals to Get Referrals
One of the best ways to get a referral is to give a referral. When you give someone a referral, they are forever grateful and will feel obligated to return the favor.
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.
How to Keep from Sounding LIKE Totally Stupid
June is reality check month. Lots of the resolutions have been made and most are already broken. It's time to take a hard look at where you are going in 05 and beyond. One of the most important things you can do for yourself is to update all your personal credentials including your bio & your resume.
Strategic Networking: Take the Shortest Path to Success
Do you use Ryze or LinkedIn to promote your web based business? If so, you may have noticed that everything is linked to everything else. Here's how to take the shortest path to networking success: use keywords and a targeted linking strategy.
How many leads do you pass on?
Social Networking: A Link To Like Minds
Not all dot-com dreams died when the Internet stock bubble burst.
|© Athifea Distribution LLC - 2013|