I’ll post about the conference next… but I’m waiting for the official photos first, my own versions are a little washed out!! (but to save your suspense…I came 2nd in the “Interactive Business” category – so I’m well chuffed!)
Anyway… with so many people to meet and greet it lends itself to another blog explaining how I get the best out of networking.
People pass business to people they know, like and trust… tyou can develop the know and like bits within the space of a few days, the trust will come when they start to use your services or you’ve helped them market theirs.
These top tips should be applied for everyone you meet. After all, you might not ever be able to do business with a pyramid construction expert, but they might be best friends with someone who needs your services, and likewise, you MAY meet a slave at some point keen to work on pyramid building in the future, in which case you can connect them and helping people like that really helps your credibity (that’s the trust bit for those who are following…)
So… here are my top tips.
1) Make sure you are memorable!
You meet so many new people in a networking day that people can’t lremember who they spoke to unless you’ve got something that will make you stand out.
Me – I wear a knife through head head-band, and carry a fish. It makes me look a little quirky, but EVERYONE remembers me. Carrying a fish under your arm might not work for everyone obviously – but you can stand out in other ways. Broaches, bright clothing, t-shirts with your logo, name badges, hairgrips themed to your business, flowers, quirky shoes, think of something that will make you look different to the other people they will meet and exploit it! You want to be remembered.
2) Collect cards with a purpose.
We all collect cards and swap cards at networking… but why bother if you’ve got no further plans for them?
If you have a pen, make notes on the cards of people you meet so you can put them in touch with people you know that might be of use to them, or to help you remember something about them when you get back in touch with them if your memory is shocking!
And then once you’ve completed the steps below file them properly … that way when you’re looking for a gardener, you can turn up the “g” for gardening and find all the gardeners cards you’ve picked up over the years.
3) Follow up!
Bbusiness opportunities are missed every day by people not following up – so get home and draft an email immediately!
Say “nice to meet you” and begin a conversation with them that may, or may not lead to work – but WILL make you more memorable as you were polite and interested enough in them to get in touch.
4) Follow them up again!
OK… you’ve sent an email – but why not post them a physcial card too? It shows you care, and everyone loves getting mail.
DON’T send bumpf unless it’s specifically requested. Everyone hates business sharks and it wastes your marketing materials as well, as unless they want it, it’s dumped straight in the bin.
5) Find and connect with them on all the social media channels.
Twitter, Facebook and Linked In etc etc… whatever you’re using, find and connect with them (this might come before step 4 as postal addresses are sometimes not on business cards!).