Follow these steps to get the most from those networking events you attend. Ensure that you make these sessions work for YOU!
1. Volunteer and get inolved in running and participating the event. It raises your profile - and it does get noticed! Be consistent.
2. Book it as you would a sales or prospects meeting. Turn up on time, or even better, be early. Leave yourself time after the event too - that's when you can talk to the contacts you have made. Take your diary!
3. Listen more and talk less, so that you get to know the person.
4. Keep an open mind and assume nothing. Talk to as many people as possible - you never know who they might know.
5. You're informing and building relationships, rather than selling to the room or to the person you're speaking to.
6. At many network meetings you'll have the opportunity of a short pitch, so make it interesting, inspiring and memorable. Ask a fellow member to give you constructive feedback.
7. Keep an eye out for people you can build a rapport with. They will remember you, recommend you and work with you...
8. Act on the raft of business cards you're sure to collect. Put all the details onto a CRM system and follow up, at least with an email and preferably a telephone call, within 24 hours. Contact the people you "hit it off with" first.
9. This is a long term project, so give it the time and effort it deserves. When working out the cost of the event, including your travel time, your hourly rate, fuel and the event cost. Then evaluate your monetary return, whilst remembering the relationship return too.Tags: clients, meeting people, Business, networking