Business Networking Events
Business networking events can be a breeze for those who have been practicing good networking for a while. Unlike other ways of advertising your business, business networking events allow you to establish a mutual understanding and connection between you and your prospects.
For those who are unfamiliar with the etiquette of a business networking event, it may seem like more of a hassle than a profit. But here are a few tips and guidelines you can follow to make the business networking process more useful and seem less intimidating.
Once you know which networking event or networking group you are going to attend, you can start thinking about what you want to get out of the event - whether it is to find prospects, ask for business advice, work on your communication skills, or to collect contact information from other businesses that may benefit your own. Reminding yourself of a set of goals throughout the event will increase your chances of being productive and achieving those goals.
It is a good idea to bring enough business cards to hand out to everyone you speak to. The main aspect of networking for business is to create relationships and gain contacts, so it is obviously a lot easier to hand out your business card instead of having to write down your information. Business cards are great for networking events since they can easily fit in your pocket or wallet and you have all your business information on one card. This makes it easier for people to remember your name, your company’s name and your contact details.
Following the previous tip, you should also be prepared to have contact information given to you. It can be a good idea to bring a notebook to make notes of what the company is, who you spoke to at the event and what they are looking for and what they have to offer. Networking events are filled with many business people, this means there will be a lot of talking and moving around, so it can be hard to keep track of who you spoke to.
Successfully attending business networking events will ultimately lead to generating a sale – either through someone in the room or a contact of theirs. To take full advantage of this aspect of the event be sure to tell people about what you do and how you can help other businesses – that means talking in their language and not being overly technical or verbose. You can make the best use of the time you do have to give a 30 second pitch. Just like reading a blog post, people can easily lose interest in the topic if the conversation is not informative and brief.
Consequently, planning your pitch can be a massive time saver.
Lastly, it is a good idea to bring a colleague with you to these events. Especially if the venue is bigger, you will be able to get across to twice as many people if there is more than one person representing your business. As long as you are both aware of the outcomes you want to achieve for your business, you can work together to collect contact information. It also makes the process of networking less nerve-wracking because you are going with somebody you know.
As long as you take into consideration these techniques and advice, you will be able to get through your first networking even without feeling lost. Keeping a calm and confident approach and having a plan and a set of goals will ensure the success of attending your first networking event.