Networking events can be a great way to generate leads and find new business opportunities. But to make the most of these events, it’s important to approach them with a clear strategy and a focus on building relationships. Here are some tips to help you master business networking and prospect new business effectively:
Set Clear Goals
Stephen Covey in his book – The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People said in Habit number 2 “ Begin with the End in Mind” This is probably the most important thing that you can do before a networking opportunity. If you know what you want to achieve from going to the meeting, then you can only be happy with the result you get from going to it.
Before attending a networking event, take some time to set clear goals for what you hope to achieve. This might include connecting with a certain number of people, finding potential clients or partners, or simply learning more about a particular industry. Having a clear goal in mind will help you stay focused and make the most of your time at the event.
I would suggest that you attempt to find out who will be going to the meeting and decide beforehand whom you would like to meet most and make sure that you get in front of them. Asking another member of the meeting if they know a certain person and asking for an introduction to them is probably the best way to get the introductions you would like.
First impressions are important, so make sure you dress appropriately for the event. Dressing professionally will help you make a positive impression on the people you meet and will demonstrate that you take your business seriously.
Bring Business Cards
Make sure to bring plenty of business cards with you to the event. Your cards should be up-to-date and include your contact information, as well as a brief description of what you do. This will make it easy to exchange contact information with the people you meet.
Prepare a Short Introduction
Prepare a short introduction that clearly communicates who you are and what you do. Practice delivering your introduction ahead of time so that you feel confident and can make a strong impression. Have a read of our Build Your Value Proposition article for more information on how to have a sub 1 minute intro to you and your business.
When meeting new people, make an effort to actively listen to what they have to say. Ask questions and show genuine interest in their work and their goals. This will help you establish a connection and build rapport with the people you meet. Remembering and using their names is one skill I speak to a lot of people about and tools on remembering peoples names is here in this blog post, How to remember peoples names when meeting at a networking event.
- Follow Up
After the event, follow up with the people you met to keep the conversation going. Send a quick email or connect with them on social media to thank them for their time and express your interest in staying in touch. This will help you build relationships over time and may lead to new business opportunities down the line. Or take a tip from a master networker Mr Kingsley Aikins – Send them a hand written note thanking them for the opportunity to chat with them