Networking can mean different things to each of us, to some, the thought of networking is ‘New & Scary’. To others, its ‘Necessary & Formal’, to Me, Networking is Fun, welcoming, and supportive. I look forward to the network meetings I run, and it doesn’t even feel like networking, at times it feels like meeting with friends. Here are my top 5 tips to networking, to enhance your business:
1) Be prepared. Know why you are there. Think about who you specifically want to connect with, why you are there. What is your outcome? Some people like to prepare an introduction that tells others about their business, some like to ‘wing it’. I’d say, speak from the heart. Engage people when you speak about your business, tune in to their problem that you have the solution to. Let me know if you would like some help with your introduction, it’s very easy to prepare.
2) Enjoy yourself. Smile, and chat informally with people. Many people can become very ‘turned off’ by someone who simply talks about themselves and what they have to offer, I often like to ask lots of questions about the other person first, learn all about them, they will be sure to ask you too, and by this time, you know enough about them, to know if your business is relevant, or think of different things you may have to help them.
3) Be you. I am sure you have heard the term ‘People buy from those they know, like and trust’. What better way to do business with people than to a build a lasting business relationship by getting to know each other first before we go jumping in with a formal sales pitch! Go regularly to your local networking group, so that people always know who you are, and they will come to you when they need your products or services, as they see you regularly.
4) Take a note pad & Business Cards. Jot down names of the others at the networking meeting, as you may be able to refer them to another friend or colleague. This in itself is often a great way of networking, as the law of reciprocity means that the business you referred will be grateful of this, and keep you in mind for their friends and colleagues. Keep note of anyone you would specifically like to contact, make sure people get your business cards, but they know the person behind the card, as they could end up in another box or drawer or bin.
5) Follow up. Make sure you book in some diary time after the meeting to follow up with the people you meet. Drop them a friendly message thanking them for the chat, remember to make it personal too, perhaps mention something about them from the conversation you had, to show how much you listened to them, and their needs. How can you make sure that they remember you for all the right reasons? If you do have a call to action, make sure you pop your link or website in your email, but remember this is the relationship building part also.
If you are nervous about networking, would like help with confidence, or getting the most out of your message and your time, drop me a line, firstname.lastname@example.org, I’d be happy to help you. Or join us at our Mums That Care online Success Club, where we share tips, tools, tutorials and interviews, about how to be the best you can within yourself and your business.
I also run a very friendly networking group called Networking Mummies Hampshire, we always welcome new members, so just let me know if you would like to join us, or take a look at our website with more info. We offer affordable workshops to boost your business too.
For Coaching and Mentoring, check out the options available, or ask me about building your own.
Have a great week!
To your success!