People often attend networking events thinking that they are going to get business. But Networking is an ART, it is the ART of relationship building. When you network you are working on expanding your sphere of influence and contact sphere. It is this expanded contact sphere that will lead to more referrals for you and you will be able to reciprocate with more referrals to others. It is this relationship of give and take that starts the magic of the referral process. It is strategic and long lasting if it is allowed to grow and blossom at its own pace.
Here are some tips:
- Pick a goal of how many new people you want to talk with and connect at an event – remember you are not there to sell but build your network
- Collect business cards so you can setup a time to connect later – with in 24 hours give them a call or an email to connect and have coffee or lunch.
- At the lunch or coffee, learn as much as possible about the other person and their business – passions, family, likes, dislikes, target market, favourite clients
- Ask them how you can help them – what are they looking for, who are they wanting to connect with
- Don’t worry about telling them about your business, that will come in time or next coffee or lunch.
- Set a second date where you can talk about your business
Remember you are NOT selling you are LEARNING and BUILDING long term relationships.
Enjoy the journey and watch the magic as your network and your referrals and business grow!