Communication is key when it comes to knowing the in’s and outs of your business. Conversation is the foundation for all ideas, and the more you have, the more likely you are to find new ways to discover new potential – using what you have in a positive and productive way.
For this, networking is essential. Networking events are the biggest opportunity you have to collect new contacts and get some fresh perspective that will stimulate ideas.
Yes, that’s right, it’s not just about handing out business cards.
While collecting and handing out business cards are a way to be remembered, the conversation you have before is paramount to success. Having the gift of the gab at a networking event requires preparation that will bring you up to the front of the pile. Let’s talk.
Make Use of What You Have
On average, we speak to 3 new people every day.
Could one of those people be your new client?
Before venturing out to find new opportunities and solutions, think about the contacts that you have and how you could benefit each other. This could be friends, family, friends of friends, or even your next door neighbour.
Get Yourself Out There
This is often the most difficult step; showing up to events can seem like a waste of time when you could be getting down to the grind and doing some work.
It is quite the contrary; by not showing up, your missing opportunities that could change the face of your business for years to come. Getting yourself out there and socialising at networking events is the one and only step towards making new connections.
Networking events are often publicised through social media and newsletters: make sure you or one of your team is signed up every one of them so you don’t miss the next big event.
You’re at an event and there are so many people – where do you start? With limited time to work some magic, having an idea of who you want to speak to will make this time count. Have a list of companies that you want to speak to, with a little room for spontaneous encounters, and, of course, people who want to speak to you.
Preparing a short-but-sweet presentation about you what you do along with some leading questions that will make the conversation stimulating, impressionable, and get the ball rolling for a prosperous future.
Go The Extra Mile
With everyone handing out business cards, it’s easy to get lost in the crowd. To resolve this, when creating your business card, be conscious that detail is everything. Using textured paper or a thicker, weightier material will make you stand out from the pile. You can add a personal touch to your business card by handwriting a little extra information on the back of it. At the same time, you can take note the conversation on the back of theirs as a note for your follow-up email.
Alternatively, make your business card into a paperweight, a board clip or even a fridge magnet to make a lasting impression.
The whole reason for networking events is to make connections. Within the days following the event, get in contact with those that really stood out to re-start the conversation.
When it comes to your next networking event, don’t shy away; be prepared with these tips to have an enjoyable, productive day.
Have you had a successful promotional networking event recently?
What’s your networking strategy? Let us know!