Top 3 Networking Tips
I have been talking with clients this week about Networking for their business. Many say they have tried it but it doesn’t work for them. Some say Social Media is the only place to be while others say Social Media won’t work for their business. Some clients spend time at Meet-Up groups, BNI groups, and Trade shows with no results. So I asked them what did you do at these events to meet people or promote your business? Why did you go to the event? Did you go with a specific intention? What was your plan before you went to the event? What was your mood and energy level at the event? There are a lot of things that cause a networking event to be a super success or a complete fail, let’s look at some ideas.
Prepare Before You Go:
If you are going to spend your valuable time going to an event you should do some research before you go. Contact the organizer of the event and ask them what demographic comes to their event. They should have a good idea who regularly attends their event; ask the age, type of business, income and interests of the group. This is particularly important if you have to travel any distance to get to the event. I spoke with a life insurance broker that had put a booth at a Bridal Show at a significant expense, and received very little interaction with the attendees at the event (only 3 people stopped). I asked why they chose to spend their time and money at this event? They said “that there would be over 7000 people there so there were lots of potential clients.” While there may have been some potential the people were there looking for wedding and bridal products and services and not insurance.
How do you present yourself at an event? Most people whether they are conscious of it or not judge you by how you look. This is even more prevalent at a first meeting. So is your appearance consistent with your business brand? Are you wearing what your target customer wants to see to feel comfortable with you? It is true there are many people that are great at what they do but do not dress the part. This creates a barrier for your clients to do business with you. It is best to take some time to think about this. If you do not know or have no idea what I am talking about you may need to consult an image consultant to help you.
How you introduce yourself at the event can have a big impact on who you will meet and interact with. If you stand up and say “Hi, I’m Bob the best local realtor you can ever hope to find, I sell more…” Most people will check out on what you say because this is all about you and not them. How can you help them, serve them, make their life better? This is why a lot of people fail with networking; they use the tired old “Elevator Pitch” which is by design all about you. Get rid of the elevator pitch and create something new that will cause them to become interested and want to interact with you. Example “What fascinates me is how many business owners I meet are at extreme risk of leaving their family financially ruined if they were to get seriously ill tomorrow” Insurance Sales.
Networking is alive and well for people who take time to learn and do it right. These tips will help you be more successful with networking for your business and add value to your business. One visit to a networking event can be the start of something huge for your business, it takes some time and planning to be successful but the rewards are huge. I look forward to meeting you out networking.