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Network Like You Mean It

Network Like You Mean It

Networking events can be a great source for making new business contacts - it's the original "social networking" before there was social networking.

To get the most out of a networking event make use of these simple guidelines:

  • Target your networking event - don't go to just any event, select an event that has the highest chance of having prospects that match your new business profile
  • What is your strategy - go to the event prepared and with defined goals. Develop a strategy on how to achieve these goals.
  • Get in touch with your extrovert self - if you are naturally an extrovert, let it all hang out; if you are more of an introvert, this is the time to come out of your comfort zone and take chances.
  • At the event, zero in on the power group - this is a technique used in meeting people at bars or clubs, it goes something like this - at the bar zero in on the prettiest female, go up to her and give it your best shot - if she says no, guess what, you just tackled the biggest challenge at the bar, if she says yes, "Wow!" The thing is you never would have known if you hadn't taken that chance. The same holds true in a networking event: zero in on the group at the event that looks the most powerful, go up to them and muscle into their conversation - from there, it's all downhill.
  • Don't forget your business cards - yes that's right business cards. Not everyone has a smartphone and not everybody wants one. Make sure you have something to leave behind with your potential prospect. And make sure your business cards lead them back to your Website, but only do this if you have a website worth going to. 
  • Tweet everyone at the networking event as you wish to be tweeted - even if the person you are speaking with is looking for a job, their previous employer just might want what you are offering and they can put you in touch with the right person. Treat everyone equally. 

The number one rule that almost everyone breaks at networking events: Follow up or follow through!

If you say that you will call them in a few days, or you will send them additional information on your company or you will set up a meeting within a month – Do it! Send them relevant information via a landing page especially customized to your new business friend.

Most people do not follow up as they should or don't follow-up enough. When you do follow-up have a clear purpose, ask them directly – "Is there an opportunity for us to do business together?"

Networking events are an excellent source of new leads and fresh business contacts. Yet to make sure it’s not a waste of time, have clear goals, attend only targeted events, do not be intimidated by power groups, and always, always follow-up.

Go get'em tiger!

Do you have any networking tips or techniques that have worked well for you?

Posted by Eli Hernandez on 11/03 at 10:09 AM in BusinessMarketing

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