How often do you get out of the office and meet people face-to-face? Do you attend networking events? Do you find them useful or do you just feel your time would be better spent if you just stayed in the office? What is your business networking strategy? Do you have one? If you don’t, then you probably are spinning your wheels and you should just stay in the office.
If, however, you want to expand your reach and meet new potential referral partners, then you need to get out of the office and talk with people.
What Is Your Business Networking Strategy?
Here are some tips to help you implement a business networking strategy to make meeting new people more effective and efficient.
- WHO will be at the networking event? If you go to an event knowing none of those in attendance are your ideal client, then why would you go? Look for events that may play host to your potential ideal client.
- WHAT do you want to accomplish at the event? Remember, you shouldn’t go to an event thinking “I’m going to sign up clients and make sales today” instead go the meeting thinking, “I am going to meet new people and start building relationships today.”
- WHY do you feel the need to network? Do you want some fresh ideas? Are you looking for a colleague?
When you’re at the networking event make sure you listen more than you talk. Get to know the person in front of you. Don’t just walk around handing out business cards without making a meaningful connection. Ask the person you’re talking with what they hope to get out of the event. Are they looking to build relationships? Are they first timers? Do they have a business that might be a fit for yours and you could become colleagues? You won’t know unless you ask.
Look for networking events in your area and make a list of those that make sense for you to attend. Remember, it may make sense to network outside of your particular niche if you want to grow your client list.