We all know that networking events and trade shows can be a good way for you to connect with others to help you grow your business. One of the key reasons is that you will meet others who can help you with the best kind of advertising- word of mouth...
We all know that networking events and trade shows can be a good way for you to connect with others to help you grow your business. One of the key reasons is that you will meet others who can help you with the best kind of advertising- word of mouth.
When you go to these events, you must go alone because when you show up with a friend or a colleague and you’re standing there having a conversation, it makes others feel more hesitant about approaching you.
This is because people just won’t want to seem rude by interrupting you. Many small business owners do not like networking in the first place, so the thought of walking up to a group of 2 or more people can seem at best, daunting and at worst – downright terrifying.
So, go alone and mingle! You will find that you will make a lot more contacts as others will find it easier to strike up a conversation if you are alone.
Do your research and see if you can find out who’s going to be at the event beforehand so you’ll know who to look out for. Just keep an eye out and wait for the opportunity to connect with that person.
Aim to get there before the event kicks off as this is when some of the best networking can happen and will enable you to connect with more of the contacts or prospects you want to meet. Often, once the event is in full swing it can be harder to get that one on one time.
One of the most important reasons to attend the event or trade-show is to get leads or referrals not just to chat so set yourself a goal before you go. Who will you connect with? How many business cards do you want to collect? Have a quick and easy way to collect leads like an app that lets you add contact details. One of the easiest ways to give your business card out is to ask for their business card first. Take theirs and then offer yours. Have your business cards in one pocket and those you collect in another.
Polish your communication skills and learn the art of conversation. Ask great questions and practice active listening. Show that you are interested in them.
Know your sales pitch and have it down to an art. Fumbling to explain who you are and what your business does can leave a bad impression. Practice introducing yourself and being able to say what your business does in just a sentence or two. Focus on the benefits of what you offer. Tell them what problem you fix or what desire you fulfil as they are the ONLY two reasons why people buy.
If you absolutely have to go to the event colleagues, make sure that you don’t stand around talking to them!
Happy Networking :-)
Business & management coach, mentor, trainer, author, speaker, social entrepreneur, (and chief pot and bottle washer!)