If you are in or joining a networking club…
…you may find these tips useful.
1. Turn up! People forget you when you’re not there.
2. Have a giving mentality. Work hard for your fellow members. Networking is about WIIFY (What’s in it for you) before WIIFM (What’s in it for me).
3. Get there early and try and ‘loiter’ afterwards. At the formal networking part of the meetings you can’t really build relationships or talk serious business.
4. When you do your 1 minute talk vary it and ensure over the weeks people know all the services you offer. Every so often talk about you the person and not your business. After all, people buy people first. See below for more advice on this.
5. “What do you do?” Answer this in a clear, interesting and precise way. People really want to know what you can do for them. What I am is a presenter, what I do is help people who find networking a challenge, just how easy it is.
6. Meet on a one-to-one basis at either yours, or their business premises. In fact over the period of, say 12 months, aim to have a ‘home’ and ‘away’ fixture.
7. When you spot an opportunity to introduce Jack to Jill, make it easy for them by calling Jill to ask Jack if they will see Jill. Explain why you think the meeting would be good for both sides.
8. When you are given a lead, always, always follow up. Whether anything comes of it or not always say thank you in the appropriate manner. When you offer to do something always do it. Build a reputation for being totally reliable… it’s great for business.
9. Breaking the Ice: Most people are nervous when they first attend. So, regulars please look for the person standing alone and give them a warm welcome. Approach them with a smile, ask to join them and start a conversation. We have all travelled to get here and we are all in business. A non–threatening ice breaker to capture a wide range of answers can be, “Where have you come from?” You’ll get a geographic place or a business name either of which provokes the start of the conversation.
10. Following up: When you spot potential opportunities do persevere but don’t pester. The way round this is to ask peoples’ permission to contact them. If you don’t get a fully positive response offer your card and suggest if they think you can help to contact you.
11. Networking is building relationships. The only thing you sell at the event is yourself and your personality. Only at the one–to–one meeting should you be doing serious business.
In the 2nd part of this blog, I’ve got some tips on Your presentation to your fellow guests!
Words by Will….