Archive for September, 2014

4 Strategies to Get More from Your Networking

How effective is your networking?

In my experience I find that many business owners struggle with implementing a truly effective networking strategy. Many don’t recognize the power of strategic networking or don’t know the mechanics of a networking program. On the other hand those who consider networking essential to their lead generation strategy often aren’t as effective in their efforts as they would like to be.

For most businesses networking can be an effective strategy to generate leads. In the following few words I offer a couple ideas to help those who want to achieve more from their networking efforts.

  1. Have a Goal in Mind: Recognize that people go to networking events to meet people, not to buy products. So, the networking goal you should have in mind isn’t around making a sale(s), but rather around making connections. Perhaps your goal should be to meet 5 people you haven’t spoken to before. Or, perhaps it’s to connect 3 people you meet to others who can use their services or products. By focusing on these relationship-building goals you are more aligned with others at the event.
  2. Pay It Forward: To build relationships with people at the event, you need to be focused on them, what they do, and their challenges. It’s not about you. The behavioral Law of Reciprocity states that when you give something to someone or do something for them, they naturally become more disposed to returning the favor. Introductions to colleagues or referrals for services have professional value and offering these types of assistance will help you build mutually constructive relationships at the event. Give first and it will come back to you.
  3. Introduce Yourself to the Event Organizer: Networking event organizers are usually very well connected and may be able to make several wonderful introductions for you. As stated earlier, be interested in them but at some point ask them who at the event they would suggest you meet. Describe your ideal client and see if they can make the introduction.
  4. Ask Questions That Make an Impression: Most people who participate in networking events ask spontaneously conceived questions. The result being a friendly conversation that often rambles on longer than it should. Those who attend events with a connection goal in mind quickly realize the value of asking focused and compelling questions. Get to the point and then move on. Here are 5 questions I always use at networking events. Use them on each new person you meet at a networking event.

“So tell me, what do you do?”

“What do you like best about what you do?”

“How did you get started in that business?”

“What are your biggest challenges?”

“How can I help you?” OR What’s the most valuable thing I can do for you

Apply these ideas at the next couple of networking events you attend and watch how much more you’ll get out of attending. Remember to set specific connection goals and to develop questions that you’ll ask each new person you meet at the event.

Great success to you and I hope to hear of your networking achievements!

 

Jeff Lovejoy

Certified Business Coach

404.444.1836

jeflovejoy@actioncoach.com

 

 

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September 18, 2014 at 10:22 pm Leave a comment