Fine Tune Your Networking Skills
Here are some tips to refresh, renew & make the most of your networking time!
• Prepare! Your Elevator Pitch . Know your Target Market. Plan ahead if there are specific people you want to meet at an event. Bring plenty of business cards and maybe even a memorable little “giveaway” item or marketing piece. Remember your goal is to meet prospective clients and referral sources and begin to build a relationship with them. You may even meet someone you can build a real strategic partnership with.
• Dress for the Event! Branded clothing with your company logo. An embroidered polo shirt is appropriate for business casual events. If business professional is required or appropriate, at least wear a branded name badge or lapel pin. Be proud of your business and your Brand!
• Breaking the Ice! (Remember NO Talking Lips!) Your approach should be warm & welcoming with or without a hand shake. Smile! Ask questions and be engaging. What brings you to this event? Are you from this area originally? Are you enjoying the seminar so far? Look for visual clues, like a lapel pen, logo’d name badge, or shirt…and ask questions about their business. The focus is on the person you are talking to.
• The Fortune is in the Follow Up! An email follow up and offer to keep them on your circulation list that may be helpful to them. A handwritten note offering to let them know about future networking events they might find helpful, or just thanking them for all the information they gave you about their own company, so you can refer them to businesses you know. Be grateful for the opportunity to have met them and express that in follow up.