Would you like more leads? More enquiries? More sales? To find your next customer you might consider attending a business networking event (nothing to do with computer cabling), where business owners and decision makers get together to talk about products and services. Maybe we’ve already met at a 4Networking face-to-face or online meeting.
Also ask yourself, do people actually know what I do?
When running a business, it’s essential to be able to explain what you do as easily and quickly as possible. Being able to describe your business in 40 seconds in an interesting and engaging way is important, especially when meeting new people at 4Networking meetings.
When you’re in a room with 10, 20, 30, 40 or more people from local, national and International businesses, it can be difficult to stand out. It can be harder to stand out if you are in the same industry as someone else in the room. It’s not uncommon for two web designers to attend the same event, or two electricians, or two accountants.
My top 5 tips are:
Successful Networking – Tip 1 – Be You
It sounds simple doesn’t it? Be You. There’s no need to change who you are and those who do soon get found out. This means don’t over-egg or exaggerate but equally don’t undersell yourself or make light of your achievements. Brad Burton, founder of 4Networking, says: “Be you, because you can’t be anyone else.”
Successful Networking – Tip 2 – Everyone is Nervous
Yes, even that person centre stage talking confidently to anyone and everyone. They were nervous once. It takes practice to be confident at anything and networking is no different. Equally, look for those who seem nervous, speak with them, make them feel comfortable. They’ll thank you for it and could even become your next customer. Also make sure people know what you do. If you are unsure how to do this check out the blog I wrote called ” What Do People Think You Do And Are They Right?”
Successful Networking – Tip 3 – Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
I call this “Know What To Expect”. Anything you can find out in advance about the venue, parking, toilets, coffee station, whether you can bring a roller banner, offer samples or advertise an event is always helpful and these details can usually be obtained from the meeting organiser. Some meetings have a structured format, and you may need to prepare a 40 second introduction or elevator pitch. Arriving in plenty of time is a good way to avoid nerves and help you relax and enjoy the meeting. If you struggle with timings, check out this blog I wrote called, “Squirrel! Squirrel! Squirrel! How to Beat Your Distracting Squirrels”
Successful Networking – Tip 4 – Relax, Smile, Enjoy the Meeting
It’s often said that “People Buy From People They Like” and one of the best ways to be approachable is to be relaxed, smiling and welcoming. A friendly “hello” can make a big difference to someone who’s nervous or attending the meeting for the first time. When you’re relaxed it shows in your face and your voice. Take your time delivering your 40 seconds introduction, remember to breathe, speak slowly and clearly and take a sip of water before you start.
If you’re struggling pick up the phone to whoever invited you, explain you feel nervous and they should address you’re concerns. If even picking the phone up is out of your comfort zone, check out my blog “How you can easily overcome a lack confidence when speaking on the phone.”
Successful Networking – Tip 5 – Don’t Ignore the Follow Up Process
Whether you’re networking online or offline a key part of your networking process to gaining new customers is closing the sale. By this, I mean following up with your potential customer and asking for their business. Unless you’ve made a sale in the room, you’re going to need some sort of follow up process otherwise it can quickly get out of hand. If you attend 4N Online meetings you might meet 20 people in a meeting, perhaps 150 people in a week. How are you going to measure the success of the meeting? How will you know who to contact afterwards? Do you have an effective sales process, a CRM system, or is it all in your head and handwritten notes?
If the answer is “no” please contact me for your free 15 minute chat and find out more about which Focus Guru Power Hours would help your business.
Bonus Tip – Focus on One Thing
Try to focus on one piece of information you want people to remember about you and your business when you deliver your 40 second introduction. It can be hard if you have multiple businesses, have a “side hustle” or “wear many hats”. But, trust me, 40 seconds is just the start of your conversations with people in the room and there will be plenty of time later to let everyone know what you do and why they need your products and services.
I expand on these tips and much more in my Focus Guru Power Hours. For a free 15 minute chat about your business and any areas you’d like to discuss, book your call today.