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How to get the most out of Networking

 

The first thing to remember is that networking is about building relationships and not about a hard sales pitch. The people you are meeting are not necessarily going to be your customers but it's who they know and want to recommend to you that's important - just as they will probably be looking for who you know.

 

So before you step into the room know your outcome - is it finding new contacts, building on previous relationships, finding a supplier.

 

Remember you don't need to be scripted, people will buy from you not a script so tell your story a good outline to keep to is:

 

  • Exchange cards
  • Your name
  • Your Company
  • Give an example of something you did with a real client (rather than listing what you do!)
  • Finish with something you would like to achieve from the meeting - this may be a 1:1 meeting so you can have more time to find out more about the other person.

 

Remember to be curious about the other person and ask them open questions - start your questions with What, How, Where, Who...

 

The more you give the more you gain so who do you know that would be a good contact for this person and their company.

 

At the end of the event

 

  • Get 1:1's booked in
  • Follow up with those that you want more time with
  • Get in touch with previous contacts to find out what's new for them

 

After the event :-

  • Did you get your message across clearly about your product or service?
  • Did you just hear or do you really ‘listen’ to the other person?
  • Did you share information or bombard the other person with detail about your business?
  • Did you sell or network?
  • Are you prepared to ‘give’ first?
  • Have you followed up every lead or referral you were given?

 

Look at how you can help the other person - not sell to them. Remember to be yourself - people buy from people!