Initially, when people go to their first few networking events, they assume that it’s all about selling their products and services, however, this couldn’t be any more inaccurate. The word ‘networking’ is often mistaken for the technological term – which relates to the interconnectivity and accessibility of multiple, different computer systems.
Business networking doesn’t vary much from this…
Networking isn’t about giving a hard sell
When you go to a networking event, one of the biggest things that you want to avoid is giving someone a hard sell, because quite frankly, they’ll shut off straight away.
The aim of networking is to build relationships and create good contacts, that you may be able to use for future reference, vice-versa. It is about spotting opportunities by finding out as much about them as possible, to see if you are able to help them.
Networking is about building good, strong relationships
“One customer taken care of could be more valuable than £10,000 worth of advertising.” – Jim Rohn
Always remember that, just because someone doesn’t need your service at the time, it doesn’t mean that they won’t know someone who does and word of mouth is sometimes more powerful than advertising. After all, it’s not about what you know, it’s who you know…
Networking is vital to the growth of any business
Networking is a vital part of business growth in all industries and can create great opportunities. Just because your job isn’t a sales role etc, it doesn’t mean that you should turn away the opportunity to go. Just because you don’t need a certain person right now, they may be needed in the future and if you don’t nurture that relationship, they may not be interested when you do need them.
Your 60 second pitch doesn’t have to be in depth
You simply need to state
- Who you are
- What you products and services that you can offer
- Who your target audience are (who you are looking to connect with in the room)
- Remind them who you are
Following up is very important
If there is anyone that you may be interested in working with, always remember to give or take a business card. Once you’re back to the office, send them an invitation to connect on LinkedIn, with a PERSONALISED message. A good idea would be to offer them a free trial service or product (depending on what you do) for nothing in return.
Check out our ZC Live event for your opportunity to put these skills into practice!
Let me know your experiences below.