I have attended hundreds of networking events over the years. These events consist of breakfast meetings, luncheons and happy hours. The main purpose is to meet new people and get to know them better. Many people consistently attend these events and still have no idea how to properly network and connect with others. They tend to think they are building their business and being productive because they spent two hours at an event. Why would you take time away from your already busy day or your family to spend two hours at a networking event and leave with no progress?
Practice these 5 activities to improve your networking efforts.
Networking is about connecting with others
A sure way to sabotage your networking efforts is to try to make a sale the first time you meet someone at a networking event. The networking event gives you the opportunity to meet people, build rapport, learn more about others and ways you can help them. People are sizing you up from the beginning. In John Maxwell’s book, Everyone Communicates, Few People Connect, he discusses 3 connecting questions that people ask themselves about each of us.
Have a clear game plan
The majority of individuals who network don’t have a networking goal. Most people network as a reaction to slow or no business. Become more proactive about your networking efforts. What are you trying to accomplish from your networking efforts? Have you clearly defined your networking goal and created a plan around that goal? Your goals should be SMART goals
Hang out in the same places as your target market
Network in groups that include individuals in your target market or have influence with your target market. If your goal is to connect with other business owners, you should network in groups where you can find business owners. For example,
So many people miss the boat in this area. Do you have a stack of cards from people that you can’t remember when and where you met them? Create a systematic plan to follow up with your people. When you receive a card from someone that you want to follow up with to build a business relationship, notate that on the card so you don’t forget. Follow up with them immediately to schedule a time to meet.
Measure your networking efforts
Just like any other marketing plan you have in place, you need to track and measure the results. Track the number of events you attend weekly, how many people you connected with and how many eventually converted to customers.
How do you maximize your networking efforts. Please comment with Tips that can be helpful to others.
Business Coach &
Certified John C. Maxwell Coach,Keynote Speaker and Trainer