As with everything in life, you get out what you put in. This is no exception when it comes to networking – if you go to ten events and only chat to people you know, you won’t generate any leads; if you go to just one event and speak to ten newbies, you could very well take your sales to new heights. Still, we realise that this is easier said than done, so here are some top tips to bear in mind the next time you attend a networking session.
Take a friend with you
There really is strength in numbers! By inviting a friend or two from other businesses, you can all work to a shared agenda. For instance, if you sell insurance and your mate who is an accountant speaks to someone who needs it, they can introduce you to them, and vice versa.
On top of this, going as a small group means that you’ll never have to deal with those awkward moments when you can’t find anyone to talk to and end up staring at the sausage rolls and quiche for ten minutes.
Tailor your pitch to the event
You know what your company does, what it sells and where you fit into the equation, which makes up the majority of your pitch. However, a pitch will always fall flat if it hasn’t been tweaked to fit the style of the event.
If you’re going to a traditional type of networking session, with everyone sat around a large table early in the morning and only ninety seconds allocated for each pitch, it’s imperative that yours fits snugly within the timeframe. If, on the other hand, it’s relaxed drinks after work, it will work much better if you take your foot off the accelerator and engage in some genuine conversations first.
Is your business card worth keeping?
Some people absolutely love networking events and give out hundreds of business cards every month, but if the quality is low this could do more harm than good. It’s not that we’re being snobby, it’s that making a good first impression is exactly what a business card should do.
If the card stock is too thin, the colours are weak and the design is poor, the chances of people taking your services seriously is drastically reduced. By investing just a little extra time and money into your cards, you’ll find that they more than pay for themselves.
Always follow up
This may seem like the most obvious advice of all, but if you’ve had a good conversation with someone at a networking event, make sure to follow it up with an email the next day.
Even better, add them on LinkedIn and get chatting properly, as this can work wonders for creating opportunities and generating new work.
Contact us today
We love helping businesses to get the most out of their marketing promotions. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch on 01482 679608 or use our contact form.