If you are a small business owner, you’ve no doubt heard that participating in Networking events is key to building your business. If you are like most people, the thought of attending a networking event causes your heart to race and your palms to sweat! With the Covid Pandemic coming to an end this is the time to craft your networking strategies so you can come out a winner! Here are 5 simple strategies, many of which a Freelancer can help you with; so that you can concentrate on becoming a Networking event star. You won’t even need that cup of chamomile tea or lavender oil, if you have a Freelancer working by your side.
Here are 5 No-Fail Strategies to make you a STAR at your next important networking event
- Bring your business cards (yes, they are still VERY relevant and useful at in-person events)! Prior to the event, have your FREELANCER check your business cards, to make sure all of the information is current. Now would be a good time to check the number of cards you have and, if you need a reorder, your FREELANCER can handle that as well.
- If there is an attendee list published prior to the event, you can have your FREELANCER research the list to find 4-5 people (potential clients) that are a good fit for your business and to whom you want to speak with at the event. Have your FREELANCER connect with them on social media. A pre-event introduction can make the in-person connection much easier.
- Practice your 30-second “Elevator Speech”. UC Davis put together a great article on how to create your Elevator Speech, if you have not done so already. You can find it here: The 30-Second Elevator Speech from UC Davis. Many Freelancers or Virtual Assistants like Lotus Business Resources specialize in content creation and business writing and can assist you in the creation of your speech.
DO NOT MONOPOLIZE THE CONVERSATION — ASK QUESTIONS AND LISTEN!
- Make sure to use their name when speaking to people at a networking event. As Dale Carnegie suggests in his famous book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, “A person’s name…is the sweetest, most important sound in any language.”
- Ask what THEY struggle with in their business.
- Listen to their responses to see if there is something YOU can do for THEM.
- Be sure to take notes. When your notes are completed, send them to your FREELANCER for transcription.
DO NOT BE “SALESY”
- If you ask questions and listen, you will be seen as a collaborator, rather than a salesperson.
- Instead of handing out your business card to everyone you see, ask for THEIR card instead. This gesture will show them that you are genuinely interested in them and not just pushing your services.
- Bring the collected cards back and have your FREELANCER enter them into your CRM system.
FOLLOW UP — NETWORKING DOESN’T END WHEN THE EVENT DOES!
- A sincere follow-up can build a stronger connection and a potential new client! There are programs like, Send Out Cards, that your FREELANCER can access, on your behalf, and send out to your new contacts.
- Send an email to all persons you made contact with, referencing your conversation. Again, this is a task that can easily be handled by your FREELANCER.
BUILD RELATIONSHIPS (by following these important tips):
- Be genuinely interested in other people.
- Remember the person’s name.
- Be a good listener.
- Talk in terms of other people’s interests, not yours!
- Make the other person feel important.
Meeting new people at networking events can be tough, especially if you tend to be more introverted. It can place you far out of your “comfort zone”. Rest assured that, like everything else you’ve learned while running your business, it will get easier with practice. If you go into the networking event with a plan of action and practice the above tips while you are there, you will be a Networking STAR in no time! What a great way to build your reputation!
Be sure to check out our new blog ~ 5 Key Factors that Will Help Your Business Growth for some additional business growth tips.
If you need help with your networking pre-and post-work and would like to collaborate with a professional Freelancer, simply schedule your complimentary 30-minute Breakthrough Session HERE and start working on your Network Star designation!