The most obvious thing as a networker I notice when going to networking events is that most event goers are not aware of how they can make networking work successfully for themselves and their business.
I believe that there are four things you need to do and understand before networking will reach your expectations.
The first being is to know what, where, why and who your niche market is. What are you looking to achieve when you are going to events? Are you aware of who you are needing to meet for your future success? Why do you want to be in that marketplace? Do you know where you need to be to meet those business people?
These are really crucial questions if you want to get your networking right! Once you are aware of these four questions you can then set out to achieve what you want in the most cost and time effective way. Word of mouth marketing is not a ‘hit and miss’ experience. There is a formula that I believe will bring success once you know your niche and move to that area for your connections.
Prior to going to any event you need to have goals on what you wish to achieve during the time you are there. Are you setting goals and making sure that they come to fruition. It is important that you accomplish what you set out to do and do not leave the event until you have achieved it.
Socialising is very important and you are there to meet new people, so don’t spend the time with people you already know and have developed a relationship with already. Your time with people you know needs to be limited to at least a third of your event time. Be aware of people who appear not to know anyone and support them to meet others. This will help you move into new circles of attendees. Do not leave the event until you have achieved what you went there to do! Don’t be pushy in regards to your business, you are there to learn about the other attendees firstly!
The most important part of any event is your follow up – what you do after you leave and go back to your office. Make sure you email people you have met that you feel you would like to know better and see again. It is very important that you send a nice friendly email WITHOUT any promotion on what you do in your business. One of the first turn off’s is when someone emails to say ‘nice to meet you, here is what I do’. That type of email gives you the license to hit the delete button!
Networking is all about relationship building and giving without expectation on return. Your first priority is to learn as much as you can about the person you are making contact with, asking them for more and deciding if you wish to meet them again on a one-on-one basis or at a future event. It is important that the email you send states what your intentions are in regards to learning about them. Remember, you do not know who they know or you may be looking for someone for your network who does what they are doing or you may just want to know them better and develop a personal business relationship with them.
We all have different reasons for our networking and it is very easy to just turn up and expect things to happen. Networking is all about the ACTION you take to make it worthwhile for you and your business future.
Copyright © 2011 Jennie Gorman