Confident Leader

6 clever tips to improve your networking results

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The thirst for networking knowledge seems unquenchable these days as we of the mass communication era are constantly increasing the security on our personal spam settings. Snail mail campaigns, email campaigns, radio and television ads and those cunning little Facebook feeds that seem to follow you around are more irritating than informative because we feel violated and invaded when they turn up in our mailboxes and screens. Delete is my favourite button!

However, when involved in a face-to-face meeting with someone, I’ll tolerate many personal shortcomings from someone if I feel there heart is in the right place. In fact, I’ll go further – I’ll actually try to help them overcome their difficulties. Having been to and run many networking events, I know I’m not alone. This feeling of support is pandemic at networking events and is very beneficial.

Here are a few suggestions to help improve your networking results …

1. Go in with a plan

Set a goal to meet 4 or 5 people to whom you may be able to refer business. For example, if you’re a real estate agent try to spend time with conveyancers, mortgage brokers, building inspectors, financial planners and tradies (their wives, or husbands!) You’ll find they are easy people to refer business to if you feel comfortable. Business coaches; get to know accountants, bookkeepers, website developers, graphic designers and copywriters. You’ll be able to help them by referring your clients to them if their businesses need help in these areas. Since networking is being helpful it’s just a matter of time before someone sends a little sugar back in your direction.

2. Hone your elevator pitch

Your elevator pitch is your verbal business card. So – MAKE IT STAND OUT! Too many people begin their descriptions of what they do with, “I help people…” Here’s the thing – if everyone’s doing it, it’s not memorable! You’re just part of the crowd and that is not how to get more business than your competitor. Try putting a little chutzpah into it, a little verve, energy, feeling. Try something like this, specific to your profession – “I love the moment when the penny drops for my clients and they suddenly get it. For 10 – 15 seconds they sit there, all their fog has cleared and they see the path to their future as a series of achievable steps leading to the growth of their business. That’s why I love being a business coach.”

 3. Connect with the organiser

Speak to the hostess or host upon arrival. Having been involved in organising the event she’ll know what professions are in the room and can direct you to them. More importantly, having organised the event – she’s the most connected person in the room! Really, that makes her worth getting to know, don’t you think?

 4. Connect with the speakers

Introduce yourself to the speakers who have put so much effort into mustering the courage required, preparing and presenting. They will be very grateful.

 5. Have fun

Fun is a people magnet. Everyone wants to be around someone having fun. Some of it might rub off! It’s a wonderfully easy way of breaking down barriers and bringing out the best in yourself and others. This doesn’t mean being frivolous or insincere at someone else’s expense. It does mean not taking yourself too seriously, always seeing the bright side and wearing a smile.

 6. Be patient

Remember, you are networking to build relationships and relationships take time. People don’t trust someone who is trying to rush them to a sale. So patiently build a relationship first. Sales will come.

For your first few events, just go to be educated. Watch those who do it well, learn from them and grow as a result. People are very helpful and patient in this environment so breathe in their experience and benefit from their knowledge.

 

About Lisa Sweeney

Lisa Sweeney is an inspired networking professional building a business, Business in Heels, to support entrepreneurial women world-wide with resources opportunity and choice. I negotiate win-win deals for businesses looking to further their reach through our face to face events and social networks. We aim to help woman in business be successful on a global stage with equality.

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