Step 1: Preparation.
Be prepared and have a strategy to help you focus for the event. If you don’t already have one, devise a very brief introduction, simple way to describe your business, known as a mini elevated pitch. Be part of the 23% of people who research who will be in attendance.
Identify the types of contacts, connections, influencers, and possible suppliers that would be of great help and support for you and the business.
Step 2: The Approach.
Networking should be about building a quick rapport so keep it informal and interesting as you want to leave people wanting more. So have a firm handshake, eye contact with a warm smile and deliver your brief introduction that you’ve already prepared and remember to exchange business cards when needed. Make sure you make a warm and professional impression and try not to appear looking and feeling overwhelmed by the rapid and noisy activity in the room. If you come across some potential customers or someone you think you could work partner with, then pop that in a simple email to them a day or two after meeting up.
Step 3: Move on to the next.
So remember your in a room filled with interesting and potential customers but also it not a race. Yes need to get around the room and meet as more people on your list but be careful to avoid the error of choosing quantity over quality when finding who to talk to and how long. If the event were less crowded and noisy you could be a bit more detailed and intimate with your conversations. So how to move on from a conversation with one connection to another can appear to be difficult for many people. To keep your professionalism and ensure that your always remain polite by warmly and genuinely
say: “It’s been good to meet you. I better pop around and meet a few more people before the end of the evening.”
Step 4: Being the Introducer.
Sometimes you get caught in a group of people that you seem to immediately bound with and then find yourself moving around the room with them. If you are a networker who seemly find it hard to retain information such as names and the expertise of the person you have just networked with a great way to remember is by actually being a connector and introducing that person to the next person that enters your circle.
Did you know that people will always remember who pointed them in the right direction, who put them in touch with someone useful and if and when the time arises they will happily do the same for you.
Step 5: Follow up.
Follow up, and follow up promptly, or risk losing all of your hard work. Consolidating the contact – it’s a key way to make sure your networking makes a difference in the long run. After attending a coaching one day event I made a great contact and found that we ended up messaging each other the same night. So the type of connections and rapport you make can determine the type of follow-up you make. Whether its dropping a quick reminder introduction email of who you are or messaging them via Whats App or connecting with them on Linkedin just remember to do it promptly whilst your still remembered.
Keep to the 5 steps above closely. After you follow the above instructions you will be able to network effectively in a crowded room without any difficulty and follow up with some potential quality customers. Simply go through the steps, doing what you must do at the same time keeping away from the pitfalls mentioned.
“Networking is not about hunting. It’s about farming. It’s about cultivating relationships. Don’t engage in premature solicitation’. You’ll be a better networker if you remember that.”
– Dr Ivan Misnen –