How to make networking work

People in business know they should go to networking events. But many people either don’t know how to network effectively at these events or have a fear of networking, period. Here are some areas to consider when you go to a networking event.

The Five Greatest Networking Sins:

  • Spend time talking to friends about how tough it is to network
  • No clear objective for the evening…e.g. two solid contacts
  • No mutual agreement about next steps with the people you meet
  • Greater focus on telling rather than asking
  • No follow-up plan

Who is My Prospect?

  • A concise description of your company
  • Typical types of clients
  • Problems solved from working with you

Networking Intention:

  • What do you want to accomplish at this networking event?
  • Listen for opportunities to help
  • Qualify by asking questions to determine if prospect has problems/needs that you can solve
  • If yes, discuss next steps to talk more or meet
  • If no, is there another way you can help?

Typical Networking Goals:

  • Minimum of two contacts who will take your call within the next 3 days
  • Ask questions to learn if you or your business can help the other person
  • Emerson’s Law: “Give more to get more!”  If you can’t help, do you know someone who can? 
  • Look for opportunities to make introductions.
  • Position yourself as an expert in your field and you’ll be the logical choice for business if needed

Finally remember this last rule: “You cannot fail at networking unless you fail to network!”

Categories: Sales & Marketing