Be the one to make the first move
Although meeting new people can be a daunting experience, it is important to remember that everyone is at a networking event for the same reason – for the benefit of their small business.
The key to a successful networking event is to go in prepared. Do you have enough business cards? Do you have some relevant literature for those people who may want to learn more about what you do? Can you confidently and concisely describe what it is that you do?
Don’t be shy, make the first move and let everyone know you’re keen to connect.
Be a matchmaker
Try and do some research before your networking event to find out who else is attending and what they do. This can prove very useful if you are looking for the help and support of a specific type of business and goes a long way when you’re able to help matchmake one business owner who requires the skills of another you can recommend.
After the event has ended, be proactive and follow-up any potential leads that you have made within 48 hours of the networking event. As with the networking event itself, it often works best not to be too forceful with the sales talk or talk too much about yourself. You wouldn’t do it on a first date! If you are communicating with a potential customer, mention something about their business, i.e., ‘I’ve browsed your website – it looks great!’ before suggesting how you might be able to help them.
Live happily ever after
And remember, like our quest for love where you may have to kiss a few frogs before you find your prince charming. Likewise, you need to connect with a lot of people to find your ideal clients and live happily ever after.
Happy Valentine’s Day! x