There are numerous ways of marketing, but one of the most exciting and most rewarding is through live networking events. Although marketing through social media can be done any time of the day or night and can reach huge numbers of recipients, I don’t think we should ever underestimate the value of face-to-face networking. Not every one is comfortable using eye contact and having conversations with people they don’t know. For some it is scary and rattles nerves, which can cause you to eat so you don’t have to talk or you start talking and can’t seem to stop because you are not comfortable with silence. With confidence you can reap major benefits.
Here are 16 tips on how to network with confidence.
- Determine which networking events will generate the biggest benefit for your time and money.
- Have the mindset that you are going to meet at least one person who has the potential of generating an abundance of extraordinary business for you.
- Dress professionally. First impressions are lasting ones.
- Arrive early and walk the room taking ownership of your surroundings. Think as if the event is yours and everyone there is your guest.
- Prepare your nametag so it includes a catchy phrase that will peak curiosity and easily start conversations.
- Position yourself near the registration table, which gives you an opportunity to meet people after they have checked in.
- Eat before the event, not during. Remember your purpose is to develop new business relationships, not satisfy your hunger. You will have both hands free to shake hands, swap business cards and jot down notes.
- Have specific questions in mind such as: What exactly do you do? How did you get started? How long have you been doing this? If there is one thing I can do for you, what would it be?
- Know your mission is to listen more than you speak. It is impossible to learn if someone can be a good contact if you are the one doing all of the talking.
- Approach someone who is standing alone and begin asking your questions or walk up to a group of three or more people and stand there and listen before joining the conversation.
- Ask for business cards. If they do not ask for yours, ask for permission to give them one of yours before assuming they want one.
- Jot down brief notes on the back of cards with interesting facts that will jog your memory (and there’s) when you follow up with them.
- Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up. Immediately after an event, write the date, location and event name on each card.
- Send each contact an email (with your key info in your signature including a link to your website), a postcard or a short handwritten note that includes something from your conversation or what you have in common.
- For the top leads with the most potential, call the following day to schedule follow-up meetings.
- Throughout the event keep smiling, stand tall and your confidence will attract people to you and you will build key business relationships.
Which of these tips do you find helpful?