Monthly Archives: June 2014
Networking has changed but if you are like me at some point you have come to realize as convenient and efficient as the internet has made online networking you still can’t afford to take live networking out the equation. When you decide to attend a live networking event you are fully aware it’s going to pull on the valued resource of time and take about $20 of gas money out of your pocket. Relationships that are initially formed from in person interaction have a much greater opportunity to start out stronger and move forward faster.
I recently came across Marc Wayshak’s 5 Steps to Networking like a Pro for Salespeople. I think Marc is right on target with these 5 tips and if you have not been going to networking events as frequent as you have in the past I encourage you to find one soon and give Marc’s advice a try.
1. Get warmed up. When you show up at a networking event, chances are that you’ll be low on energy and by yourself. Rather than immediately rushing for a drink at the bar, get social. Go up to the first three people you see and just talk to them—ask them how they are, what’s going on, and start a friendly conversation.
2. Ask “What brings you here?” This question will get people to open up about why they’re at the event and what they do for a living. Starting a conversation with this prompt will allow you to strategically decide whether you want to spend more time talking to the person at hand, or move on.
3. Learn about people’s businesses. Most people go to networking events to talk about themselves and their businesses. Don’t be one of those people! Learn about what everyone else is doing. By understanding other people’s businesses, you can quickly determine whether someone is a prospect for you, but you can also learn about who else at the event you might be able to connect them with—which brings us to the next tip.
4. Make connections for others. Once you’ve asked about other people’s businesses, you’ll soon learn who they’re looking to meet at the event. Use your new found information to connect different people at the event. Become a connector and you’ll create goodwill at the event and be the hit of the party.
5. Find connectors. It’s great to be a connector yourself, but you should also find other long-term connectors. These people are familiar with the networking group, know everyone and are very social. Find them and ask them for help, and whether they’d be willing to introduce you to some people. In all likelihood, they’ll be happy to walk with you around the room and introduce you to whomever you want to meet. Make sure to get their contact info and stay in touch with them. Networking connectors can become some of your closest allies when it comes to helping you develop your business.
You can see Marc’s full post at http://www.marcwayshak.com/5299/5-steps-to-networking/