“Recently, when enjoying a bit of professional networking over breakfast with our professional networking partner and friend “The Boardroom Network“, the question was raised by one or two networking virgins “what is networking?” Joannah Bishop stood up and gave us an excellent two minute briefing in her inimitable style”
When you think of networking, do you think of sales pitches, awkward conversation and phoney smiles or circulating business cards at meetings?This is not effective Networking, at heart effective networking is all about developing valuable relationships over time. It’s about Growing a Pool of People who know about you and value what you do.
You can network in lots of different ways, formal, informal, in person, by phone, online …but it’s important to remember that you are networking rather than pitching or selling. The people that are in the room or sitting on your table may not be your clients but someone they may know could be. We all know one of the best and most cost effective ways to win quality business is referral via the power of word of mouth marketing.Don’t just sit there or stand there over coffee, don’t be a brown noser, don’t ask yes or no questions.“Is this your first time here, did you find it ok…” Forget the hard sell but don’t forget your story.Some ideas and steps to remember…
- it matters what you do outside the room, as well as in it. If someone has the courtesy to email you or call you then please return the call or the email.
- Have a crystal clear idea of who your next potential tomorrow customer is and what they need, who they will be and where will you get them from.
- Make sure you have an idea and service you can express clearly.
- Be willing to share- what you know, who you know and how you can add value to them and their customers.
- Focus on what you can give, rather than what you want
- Keep In touch and follow up.
N Never interruptE Engage in new ideasT Targeting a receptive audienceW Working the room or tableO Open mindedR Respond to communication during and after networkingK Keeping on top of your gameI Initiate 121 meetingsN Never focus on work related conversation onlyG Growing your business and yourself
Networking is essential on so many counts.
Business & Management Wessex Members can join The Boardroom Network at discounted rates.
Please contact Jackie Framption for details.
jacqui(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)theboardroomnetwork.com 01202 666637 | 07824 388247 http://www.theboardroomnetwork.com