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
- 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!”