Do you have a Networking Strategy?
I have been networking for quite a while now and I often talk about why different people at different networks network. Quite often you will find that you see a core of the same people at different events and some of those people will just talk to each other. I’m guessing they have no strategy in place, they have been told to go or go because they always go.
I have seen people networking to sell, they are there as a social event, there are even people just there to get out of work and there to hand out and get as many business cards as possible.
To help you develop a strategy answer the following questions
Why are you there?
Is there a specific product or service you want to talk about, promote?
Is there a specific person you want to talk to meet with and are they attending?
Do you have a list of people you want to work with?
Do your clients attend?
Do your prospects attend?
How many meaningful interactions do you aim for from a meeting.
Do these interactions include current contacts?
Does the meeting require you to stand and present?
Do you have a 5 minute, 60 second, 10 second pitch ready?
Are you confident and well rehearsed in doing a pitch?
Answering these questions this is my strategy
I network to meet new people and over time grow my business and my clients businesses through great interactions with other local businesses. I always have specific products or services to promote if the right people are in the room. I have gone to networking meetings to meet specific people but I’m never too disappointed if they don’t turn up, life happens. I usually have a list of people that I would like to work with and there are usually people on my list at these events (it’s part of the reason I’m there). Both clients and prospects attend these events. I aim for only 3-5 meaningful interactions with attendees I haven’t met but will also catch up with people I know as well. Most meetings I attend do have up-to 5mins speaker slots or 60 seconds etc, but these are pretty standard.
I never rehearse but I love and know my business and if you are talking about what you know it tends to go well.
As a small business you should get out there and tell people why your business is so great.
There are lots of great networks out there and you should fine one that suits your business.
The are many other events around South Wales