Most of us will network at some point in our life, either as a solo business owner or as part of an established organisation.
Networking is not something we are used to – it means getting out of our comfort zone – you may feel awkward – but by following the following points below you should then be able to go forward and make excellent working relationship.
Never go to a network meeting thinking I am going to make some brilliant contacts today which will mean my business/the company I work for will grow substantially. Networking takes time and effort. Let’s imagine the scenario you are out for the evening at the local restaurant/pub would you go straight up to some you were keen on and immediately say I love you let’s get married….I am pretty sure that person would run a mile. Instead you introduce yourself…buy the person a drink,,,,have a chat etc….It is the same with networking, it all takes time and effort.
Top networking tips
Practice your elevator speech every day for a few days before the event
Manage your expectations
Plan some ice breakers ahead of time
Share personal stories that are useful to the event
Make sure you set a time limit with each person
Ask for introductions
Have a strategy, be strategic, have a plan
Have stories – what has been your biggest success (in connection with business)
Bring people into the conversation
Know the dress code
Always carry business cards
Always follow-up after a network event with an email to the people you have met
Why people network
You run your own business and hate feeling alone and without regular contact from the outside world
You are seeking more clients this is an ideal way for face to face meetings
You need to promote your service and be seen
You can meet like-minded people and share advice and tips on social networking, website and various other marketing ideas
Remember: Without networking your business will not grow