Work Work Work… You may not realise it but you are always networking! Just by talking to someone and mentioning what you do or talking about the business that you are building, This is business networking. It is vital that you keep meeting new people and the best most focused way is attending a face to face business networking event in Manchester or Bolton. If you don't have any events near you it is worth travelling to one, there will normally be at least three good contacts that will come out of each event. Remember face to face business networking is not just about meeting someone new it is also about who they know that can turn out to be an even better contact.
Take some business cards with you… It is vital you have some business cards with you when attending a face to face business networking event. In fact you should always carry some business cards with you wherever you go. You never know whom you will meet, (even in a supermarket) always look for that opportunity to pass on a business card, it is not necessarily the person to whom you give the card, they may meet someone tomorrow that says they are looking for the service you offer.
It's good to talk… If you are going to your first ever face to face business networking event don't be shy, you have gone there to meet people and make new business contacts, the only way you can do that is by talking to someone. Start by introducing yourself: - Hi my name is… and I do… what do you do? Then listen to their answer, when they have finished speaking ask them if they have a business card and then give them one of yours then just carry on chatting reinforcing what you do and the services that you are offering, keep the conversation going by asking them questions. E.g. How long have you been with the company? Let them talk it is a two way street.
Mix it up a bit… You do not need to talk to just one person. Start a conversation but keep it brief, be polite extract enough information to grasp what they do and feed them information about your services then excuse yourself, mix with others and start more conversations. You are there to network this means talking to as many people at the meeting as possible. If there are 50 people at the event and you only have 2 hours you need to be moving on to the next contact every 3 minutes. If you find an interesting contact spend longer talking to them, cement that relationship but don't offer a discounted product or press for an order, relax the business will come.
Filter and Follow up… Filter the business cards at the meeting Good contact or Great Contact then follow them up - drop them an email the next day (this way if they have lost your card you have sent them your details again) mention something from the conversation that you had, this will jog their memory of you and reinforce what a good contact you are to them. Make notes on the back of their business card to remind you what you chatted about. As you do more networking these hints and tips will come naturally to you allowing you to network at ease, try some of them but do get out and about more and attend some face to face business networking events they will do wonders for your bottom line.
Benefits of attending our Manchester and Bolton events:-
- Meet and talk to other local businesses
- Expand you range of business contacts
- Meet like minded business owners
- Opens up business opportunities
- Talk about services you offer
- Find potential new customers