1. Understand what Networking really is
Dictionary Definition of Networking is:
"Interact with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts."
Nowhere does it say SELLING?
The foundation of Networking is creating the know, like and trust factor. It's all about building relationships first and the results will come later.
When you don't like or trust someone - do you feel comfortable giving them your money or giving their name as a referral. I suspect not.
2. What is your purpose - who do you want to meet?
If your purpose is to find Ideal Clients or Ideal connections for recruitment purposes or Ideal Connections for information -
Then you must be clear about the profile of that person.
If you're not clear about your "Ideal" then you will be introduced to "Anybody" so get specific.
Where do they hang out?
Is this the right place for you to find your connections?
Are there people here who would know the kind of people you want to meet?
3. What do you do (Elevator Pitch)
This is key to successful networking.
If you want to be introduced to specific people then you need to get that message over to the person you are talking to. BUT this is not what you lead with. Remember it is about building relationships.
When you are asked, you respond with your elevator pitch.
Here is a very simple formula to create your Elevator Speech:
I work with (Ideal client)
Who struggle to (Challenge)
And would like to ........
What makes my service/product different is.......
Because of this they receive...........
Give an example of a success story...
I work with Business Owners and Professional Sales People who sell to other businesses and struggle to increase their sales revenue and would like to attract, convert and retain more of their Ideal Clients
What separates my service from others out there is I only work on client attraction, conversion and retention - nothing else. Therefore my clients receive proven, undiluted, step by step information on exactly how to increase Sales Revenue by getting and keeping high paying clients.
Because of this those who work with me get more clients in record time and make more money than they ever would on their own.
One of my clients increased their corporate sales from 125,000 to 1.1m in 12 months after working with me.
Create yours and make sure you practice so it flows naturally.
4. Condense your elevator pitch into a tagline for occasions where it isn't appropriate to share the longer version (Elevator Pitch)
I work with Business Owners and Professional Sales People who sell to other businesses to help them Attract, Convert and Retain more of their Ideal Clients. Because of this they get results quicker and easier than they ever would on their own. Guaranteed!
5. Move out of your comfort zone get comfortable with breaking the ice
Many people are fearful of attending a Networking meeting because they don't know what to say or how to approach people.
A dear friend of mine always says "Pretend you are hosting a party". This changes your whole mindset and makes it a much more enjoyable experience.
Here's an easy approach:
Hello I don't think we've met
My name is ......from..........and you?
6. Ask something personal before talking business
Do you live near? Find a commonality.
7. Ask them what they need first.
Try and give them something in return.
"Who are you most looking to meet at this event and how can I help you meet someone like that?"
8. Give first without expectation
9. Listen more than you talk
10. Always carry business cards
Don't push them onto people - It's a complete turn off!
11. When asked "What do you do"
DON'T say I am a Solicitor, Web Designer, Accountant etc.
Use your tagline or Elevator Pitch, whichever is appropriate.
12. When your networking partner shows interest DO NOT TRY SELLING
Ask about their struggles and the impact of those struggles.
Ask what they would ideally like to achieve in the next 6-12 months?
Set up a time to talk further.
13. Get their Business Card
Write down relevant information on the back of the card.
14. Continue to Network
Don't get stuck with one person Say, "It's been really good to talk to you. I don't want to keep you from networking with others, so I'll just call you tomorrow as promised and we can set up that date. They will thank you for it!
15. Arrange a coffee date
...to discuss their needs or a referral partnership
16. Attend regularly
You don't build deep relationships at one networking event
17. Keep in touch outside of the event
It is about building relationships to help each other. Make friends, have coffee, lunch or host a dinner party.
You will be amazed at the results!
Find A Way and be the Best You Can Be!