Tips for Effective Networking

Every business owner has to network at one or another.  You should know how to do it and do it well.

Networking my easy!

  1. Never think of your competitors as the enemy but mentally reframe and think of them as mentors and a way to learn. Always be the first to step and introduce yourself.  Relationships need to be formed on and offline.
  2. Start by being prepared. Make sure you have a business card, flyer, or QR code to give interested people so they have your information.
  3. Make sure you have a larger name tag and wear it on the right side of the body over the hand you shake with, so when people shake your hand, they can read your name.
  4. Always stand when you introduce yourself so you can project your voice and show confidence.
  5. Always have your elevator speech ready. In other words, your 30 or 60-sec commercial.  Always leave them begging the question and tell me more.
  6. Be the first to open the conversation. Start by asking an open-ended question.
  7. Be open to asking for help. If someone shares something you can help with, don’t hesitate just because it is a new relationship to share.
  8. Never try to close customers on the first meeting.
  9. Networking online is no different than offline. It is all about building relationships.   Keep your social sites up to date!
  10. If you have the opportunity to know the guest list before attending do your homework and get to know the people you want to meet. It will help you appear more intelligent.
  11. The most important is to stay in touch with the incredible network of people you have created. LinkedIn is where you need to stay in touch with your network.
  12. After you have built a robust network from networking with a strategy, you will have people you can contact when you are looking to hire. Take advantage of your connections.
  13. Follow up with everyone you meet. The minimum is to go to LinkedIn and see if they are on there and connect. Keep in mind you will have access to not only your first connections but your second and third levels as well.   You only have 72 at max, and it is better to use only 48 hours to follow up on anything.
  14. Spend time determining who you want to meet and why.

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