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!