1) Create a plan:
When you go to a networking event, have a plan of
action laid out in
advance. Consider what you are going to talk about and what
you are going to give
away. If you plan to simply do a business card exchange,
discuss how you will follow up
and how networking together can help both of you. Consider
bringing along newsletters
or coupons that you are running. If you provide a service, a
your company can go a long way. Collect business cards from
everyone you meet and
jot down personal notes about them or their business
Always dress professionally at any networking event you
Avoid suggestive attire that may give the wrong impression.
Make sure you have enough
business cards or other marketing materials to hand out.
Keep a pen with you to take notes.
Do not drink excessively at any networking event. You need
businesslike and leave a good impression. Avoid talking too
much about yourself or topics
that are overly personal in nature. Remember, this is not a
dating opportunity so avoid
flirting or any behaviors that may offend others. It is a
good rule to keep conversations to
three minutes in a crowded room. Allow the individual to
talk so you have more
material to follow up with. Your intention is to follow up
and keep the connection
going. The more you know, the better the chance of a long
lasting business relationship.
4) Keep it simple:
Don't try to sell your product or book appointments unless
person shows a direct interest in doing so on the spot.
Everyone is there to network and
meet as many people as they can. It is not a good time for a
5) Follow up:
Make phone calls to anyone that you created any sort of
arrangement with. It is
recommended that you do this within 48 hours of the event.
You want to contact
them while they still remember you. Send an email out to every person
that you collected a business card from. In your email,
thank them for the connection
and give a reminder to who you are and what your business
is. Incorporate a question
in the email to provoke a response, it may be about their
services, specials or how you
can help them with a referral. Always try to include
something personal about the
individual or their business. Never send out a mass email
to each person
you meet, it is simply too cold.
Before you send out any marketing materials to your new
contacts, always make sure you have asked first if you can
add them to your newsletter
list. It is easy to offend a new connection by filling up
their mailbox with spam.
Don't forget to search for your new connections on your
social networks. Grow your business by including all
new contacts to Linkedin,
Google+ and any other networking website you use
for business. If your
new contact were to unsubscribe from your marketing emails, they most
likely will not remove you from their social networking
list. This is a good way to keep your advertising
seen across all of your networks.
8) Stay in the game:
Follow up with your new contacts when
appropriate. Offer to
highlight their website on your social networking page,
newsletter or website. Visit the social
pages of your new connections and like and endorse their
9) Keep at it:
Networking takes time and commitment but you'll start to see
faces every time you attend an event. Most people that are
attending these venues are
seeking connections just like you and attend many functions.
Work on building the
relationships with people you recognize, this is the best
way to gain trust and get
the referrals you are seeking.
show gratitude: When you get referrals always follow
up to thank the
person who referred you. Even if the customer did not
purchase from you,
your contact still sent the referral in your direction. When
a new customer does purchase
from you or use your service, it is always appreciated if
you take out the person who referred
you to lunch as a thank you. Growing these connections will
work in your favor.