As a general rule you attend events and activities to network with others and enhance your business. But, there is somewhat of an art to networking and getting to that point is not easy (comfortable) for some people. The following are some tips from Susan Roane’s How to Work a Room.
· Plenty of cards & give them out to all that you meet
· A pen
· 3 pieces of small talk: kids, weather, news, sports, etc.
· If it fits your personality, a short, clean joke.
· Avoid politics and religion
· Prepare and practice a 10 & 60 second “self introduction”
· Be upbeat & positive
· Who you are
· What you do & what benefits you supply
· Why your service or product is unique or special
· Go from the least to the most important facts
· What is a good referral for you
· Dress professionally
· Place a neat, easy to read nametag on the right so it can be seen as you shake hands
· Work out with a buddy: To introduce each other and their business
· A rescue signal to get out of a situation
At the event:
· Arrive on time
· Check out where everything is so you can assist others
· Say hello to friends and the host
· If you forget a name, state yours and ask theirs again with humor
· Act like a host, show interest in others
· Have a positive attitude and smile
· Walk away from people with negative behavior
· Focus on the benefits of the event and the organization
· Have a good handshake: not too limp or too hard, not “the 2 handed pump”
· When talking: make eye contact, listen attentively, do not be looking around the room
· Make strangers & people by themselves feel comfortable
Have the courage to take risks. Approach people! Everyone is there to make business contacts and they will appreciate the chance to talk about their business. .
Be direct, ask people what they want to be asked!!!
Hello, my name is___________
*What is your business (listen attentively)?
*Ask questions to clarify and show an interest.
*Where are you located?
*May I have your card?
*What would be a good referral for you?
*Let them see you write something on the back of their card
*If you genuinely have an interest in doing business with them or referring
to them, let them know (make sure to follow up)
Pause with eye contact and a smile. 95% of the time they will ask about your business. If not “May I tell you about my business”?
*Hand them your card
*Do your 10 or 60 second “self introduction”
*Let them know what type of referrals you are looking for
*Follow through with promises to get or give information
*Offer to introduce them to someone that can help their business, at the event or elsewhere….SEEK WAYS TO REFER BUSINESS TO OTHERS
Set up light meetings (lunch, coffee or at work) with anyone you may be able to do business with. DO NOT TRY TO CLOSE BUSINESS AT THE EVENT
· Do not spend too much time with any one person, you are there to make contacts. To extricate yourself:
“Excuse me, it was nice meeting you. I will speak to you, or see you at________, or I look forward to seeing you again. There are several people I promised to meet with at this event
After the event:
· Send a hand written note to everyone that you met. “Hello, I am ______, we met at _____. I look forward to yada, yada, yada.
· *Follow up with all promises in a timely manner
Things to avoid:
*Pigging out at the buffet
*Monopolizing conversation or interrupting others when speaking
*Being too loud
*Hard sell of your product or service
*Complaining or criticizing
*Drinking too much
*Behavior or jokes that are sexually suggestive
At the next Mixer or Networking Event, try these useful tips….you have a lot to gain!
In networking: The more memorable (positive and helpful) you are, the better the results. Questions? Feel free to call BNI Executive Director and Relate2Profit.com Evangelist Cys Bronner 866-889-3466 or email her at Cys.Bronner@BNI4success.com
Her motto: BNI, Making word-of-mouth marketing work for you.