Networking has changed over the last couple of years, more so because of the introduction of social media. Some people don’t like going out networking as they used to, and some millennials even find the notion of meeting potential business contacts outside of social media very daunting.
At my Event of Champions® events, we not only encourage networking but effective networking that is focused on relationship building and not just ‘I’ll tell you all about my business and what I can sell to you’.
So, what has changed about networking and why?
Here are a few points that I have found and how you can network more effectively.
- People really don’t want to go out as much and when they do, they want more relationship building exercises rather than a 60-second pitch on products and services.
- Company owners and decision makers are more selective about where and who they network with. Busy professionals and entrepreneurs are finding less time to engage with prospective clients outside of the home or office.
- Some networking events have become more structured and centred around the company paying the most money. Find ones that not only suit your budget but your end goal.
- In the past, people would often stay around after the planned session but now you have to incentivise potential clients to stay on because of work or family commitments, so find ways to do so if you need to.
Networking is very much alive and is still one of the most profitable ways of generating new business. We have generated huge sales from networking with the right group and in the right setting at my www.camilita.com company. The lasting relationships you generate through networking can bring you added business through referrals time and time again.
So, how can you network more effectively?
- If you can and you have a list of who is going to be there beforehand, google them, find them on LinkedIn or search out their company before you meet them. The reason for doing so is to have a more meaningful conversation with the people you meet and show you are interested in them.
- Perfect your pitch and make sure it allows your listener to want more information. If after your pitch they say – that was interesting – you need a better pitch!
- Make sure you ask questions, be interested in the other person/business owner, then BAMFAM (book a meeting from a meeting) and try not to close the sale right there and then. I teach this in my 7 Steps to 7 Figure Sales® training. Remember people do business or buy from people they feel they Know, Like, Trust or Support so build trust first.
- Be prepared to refer business to the potential clients you may meet as most people are looking for you to serve them first (not sell to them first).
- Look people in the eye, have a meaningful conversation and don’t just run around becoming a professional business card collector.
- Be prepared to follow up correctly after each event. Networking without following up is like getting up, having a shower and going to work without brushing your teeth! Make sure your goal is to follow up or you would have just wasted time with no profitable business reward. There is more info on follow up on my website under my 7 Steps to 7 Figure Sales® Training.
Networking is AMAZING and it has been said that ‘the size and quality of your NETWORK determines your NET WORTH’, so network away!
Want more info on how to network effectively for your business growth? Go ahead and book a business strategy session with me by clicking here.