Effective networking is important for a successful business, but it is something that can be difficult it can be for many people. That is why I decided to do a newsletter series on networking.
What does networking have to do with image?
EVERYTHING! Networking is how you meet people and make your first impressions. And we all know how important first impressions are. Your image is not only how you look, but it is also how you behave and communicate. In networking it is important to look the part, understand/follow business etiquette, and communicate efficiently.
Over the next few months I will cover the topics like networking event etiquette, dressing for networking events, tips for successful networking, and communication tip for networking. But I want to start with the Why?
Why do we go to networking events?
The point of networking events is to make initial connections with multiple people. Note that I did not say as many people as possible. As with so many things in life, you are looking for quality not quantity.
Your goal is to meet:
Potential referral partners
Potential people/companies that fill a need you have or someone you know has
Potential people/companies that can add value to what you provide your clients
You may have noticed that each of these say “potential.” Once you have identified that someone could be a good match, tell them you will contact them to schedule a one to one, and move on to find other potential connections. Remember, standing (or sitting) in a busy networking event is not a good place to have a real sales or partnership conversation for multiple reasons: there are too many distractions, you miss out on other possible opportunities, and you don’t have time to properly prepare for the conversation.
Next month we will start covering networking event etiquette (or as I like to call it "Netiquette") with nametags.
And remember networking happens everywhere in your life, work, church, your child's soccer game, the grocery store, not just at "networking events." So look for opportunities everywhere!