I’m confident that you will find part two of this article helpful and will integrate it into your marketing strategy. I’ve literally given you scripts to use in your networking endeavors.
Effective networking takes time
Networking is a marathon – not a sprint. Build your network one person at a time. After her first meeting with a weekly networking group, Jane was disappointed when no one responded to an invitation to her home. I coached her around making strategic decision regarding the right networking “fit” for her, and the reality of establishing relationships over time.
Consider your objectives and action plan before attending a networking event.
For example, “I will trade business cards with three people.” Or “I will introduce myself to the regional manager.”
Make the first move
Marge is attending a national professional meeting and her objective is to
get her resume into the hands of three specific people. Since Marge is a self proclaimed introvert, I worked with her on the following techniques to approach these people.
What do you say?
“May I join you?” is a great statement to join a group of people who are already engaged in conversation. Maintain eye contact and smile.
Successful prompts to start a conversation.
“What brings you to this conference/seminar/etc?
“How do you know the host company?”
“Have you been to the Company X booth?”
“Did you attend the talk by Betsy Smith? She said…What do you think?
Creative responses to “How are you?”
“Great thanks. I just closed a huge sale…”
“I’ve just taken a new job/responsibility and I love learning about it.”
“I’m excited because I had a positive call with a potential client; interview with a potential employer; am about to travel to France.”
People love stories
Do you have three to five stories that you can tell relating to your exceptional work? This is not bragging, merely sharing your enthusiasm for your job. Spend time contemplating these stories so that they are at top of mind awareness.
Budget your time and spend 15/20 minutes with one person or group.
“It has been fascinating talking with you. I’ve learned a lot and hope that we stay in touch.”
“It has been great talking with you. You have a wonderful sense of humor.”
Get out of a bad conversation
Remember these when you next get trapped in a conversation that you find unbearable.
“I must go make a call.”
“Excuse me, I see my friend who is waiting for me.”
Networking is an integral part of being a professional or business owner. If you want to know more about networking, please contact me for a complimentary coaching session.