Networking has been a lifeline for me so I thought I would put together 10 tips that may help...
1. Prepare your elevator pitch. Be enthusiastic and Smile. Be concise when explaining your business and what you have to offer. You may want to focus on just one of your services rather than bombarding everyone with everything you do. Usually you have 60 secs, so keep it upbeat and interesting, don't ramble.
2. You may want to use a testimonial or a story about how you have helped a customer or client. This will get people to imagine you helping them and how they can use your service. You can describe your ideal customer too.
3. Try not to gravitate towards the people that you already know. Reach out to people that you don't know and make New connections.
4. Use the business cards and attendance sheets you receive to write notes for each person you meet. What did you talk about? how can you help them? how can they help you? A sharpie pen is best to use when writing on business cards as some have a shiny layer which is difficult to write on with a normal pen.
5. Real business starts when you leave. Make contact within 48hours, the sooner you reach out the easier the conversation will flow. Even if you have got business cards that you have had for a while, still reach out, although this is not recommended you never know you could still be contacting them at the right time.
6. Connect with people using LinkedIn, Facebook and all their other social media platforms. Write a personal note, this is a great way to start a conversation and remind them that you met at a certain event, what you spoke about and how you can help each other.
7. Arrange a 121, 60 seconds isn’t a long time, this is why 121’s can be so valuable. You can find out so much more about each other which could potentially benefit you both.
8. Remember to get permission before adding anyone to your email list, if you find someone may benefit from being on your email list, make sure you ask first.
9. Add new contacts to your CRM system or contacts database. You may find that someone you have met will not bring you business today or you may not be able to help them right away but it’s worth keeping their information for the future.
10. Always keep referrals and introductions in mind. You may be able to introduce 2 people that could help each other, you can cc them into an email or message them both on LinkedIn.