Networking is great, fun, and yet not easy. Before I study Relationships and the pillars of professional networking, I used to think that networking with people was just about going to events and exchanging business cards with all people we meet there. However somehow, I found out that from the tens of people I gave my business card to, only two or three got back to me and did want to follow up do business with me. So I decided to dig into what made those two or three people to get back to me that I didn’t do with the rest of the people. Now I know and it’s that networking protocol I’m about to share with you. Folks, this is Max, Your relationship Strategist because Relationship Matters.
Before I get to the networking protocole, let me point out the benefits of networking:
- You meet more people you can help and who can help you – If there is one thing I am totally convinced when it comes to relationship irrefutable laws is that relationship is about giving and receiving. One of the power of networking is meeting up with as many people as you can. Brian Tracy says that networking is a number’s game. What matters is the number of people who know you.
- You can have more referrals and leads for your business – When people loves, appreciate you, and associate themselves to you, they provide you with what you need to excel. In business nothing is more valuable than qualified referrals and leads. But understand credibility is everything. In fact, when people have seen you, spoken to you, they are 10 times more willing to to do business with you or to recommend you.
So What Are the Keys of Networking at an Even?
- Come on time and properly dressed – So many people get the wrong start as they go to networking event. When you come late, you sure get noticed but a bad way. You def need to come on time when you go to a networking event. On time means about 15 minutes earlier. You will then have the benefit to get to know more about the people organizing the event, you can be introduced to the key people since there will be no affluence, you can offer your help for a task to be done, you can choose the best place to sit that will make you connect easily instead of standing up lonely at the corner of the room at the back of everyone.
- When you get a chance and it is required, make constructive input – Forget about nonsense and irrelevant jokes that will nothing but harming you later and discredit you. It’s better to shut up and listen than to put up your hand and resulting being stupid.
- Be approachable and agreeable – Make sure you share a confident, relax, and smiley face with everybody. When you are part of a group, the best way to be agreeable is by being a good listener. Let people talk and praise their good points. No need to correct on their mistakes or to criticize them. If you have intelligent jokes that you are sure will not offend, then go for them but do not exaggerate.
- Connect with people – Connecting with people is the whole point behind attending networking events and like I said, it requires certain skills. You do not want to just go ahead and grab the people’s business card. NO. You want to value the person behind the business card. So, instead of grabbing the card and putting it straight in your pocket. As you get introduced to a new contact, remember to first ask question about the person before asking about the business, then once the business card handed, you want to take a look at the card first. Second, you read it and praise the company. If you have any knowledge of the company or its industry then share about it that is great opportunity to show you care. Third, write something to remember on the back of the card. That is such a valuable sign of respect. It tells the card-giver that you do really want to connect with him and remember some main points of your discussions. The person will definitely value that. Fourth, thanks the person for handing is business card and give him yours.
- Follow up with the person – Weak people always look for what they can get. Strong people always look for what they can give. After the day of the event you definitely have to follow up with the people you connected with. Try to remember about something they said they love. It can be an artist, a restaurant, a song, a sport…anything. As you follow up with them do your homework and see if you can provide them with an info that they will cherish. If the person love Greek’s food. Try to search if there’s a Greek restaurant he can go and eat. If the person love soccers, updates him about the latest score.
At the last event you attended, what did you do that worked better for you? Share it with us.