You may find you have attended your fair share of local networking events during your business career and we are sure that a number of them were good exposure for you and your company. Networking is a great opportunity for cold calling or pressure pitching, however, there is a time and a place for it. Effective networking involves so much more than perfecting your elevator pitch.
We have found attending these events is all about building organic relationships with people and creating credibility for yourself and your brand. Social Media marketing is fantastic in its own right, but real-world networking is still the real king … at least for the time being!
So if you are someone that has a passion for meeting new people, learning about what they do and at the same time building your personal network, then here are our 3 top tips on the best ways to generate more business while you attend these important networking events.
Work the room
It’s so easy to just to speak with the people that you are familiar with or even friends at these networking events. It can often be challenging going up to a stranger and to engage in conversation with them. You must remember that the purpose of networking is to build up your clientele and build relationships with people that will be able to help you along your business journey.
Try to move from conversation to conversation and group to group in order to converse with as many different business people as possible. By no means do you need to cut your friends, clients, and other familiar faces out entirely but you should make sure that you are getting in front of new faces, even for a brief few moments.
Don’t be a salesperson
It won’t take long for people to start avoiding you because you’re purely trying to persuade those in the room to buy your products or sign up for your services. It’s a good idea to get to know people first and discover what they do before you even start talking about yourself.
Be sure to ask lots of questions as most people enjoy talking about themselves and their business. There’s no better way to turn small talk into a larger conversation and letting someone tell you everything about what he or she does for a living.
Set some goals
Before each event you go to, it is a wise move to set yourself some goals or targets that you expect to meet at the end of each session. This way you will be able to have an idea in your mind about how many people you would like to talk to but make sure these numbers are realistic as it can be quite daunting if you set the bar for yourself too high!
Above all, try and enjoy these events as much as possible and don’t put too much pressure on yourself early on. The more of these networking events that you attend, the more likely it will be that you run into your next client. As the old saying goes, If you hang around the barbershop long enough, sooner or later you’re going to get a haircut”.