Business is all about connections.
Whatever did we do before Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, etc.?
I will tell you what we did not so long ago, we attended various networking events, stuck our hand out and said “Hello” to someone. We exchanged some small talk, asked about what the other person's business was, exchanged business cards and promised to get together soon to talk more about how we might help each other. We knew that networking events were not the time or place for long business presentations. They were places and times to make a contact and hopefully find a reason to do business.
Many people attend networking events, but very few really know how to get the most out of each one.
Here are some basics of networking:
· Look the part of a successful business executive. Business attire for a true business function or logo wear for more casual events.
· Wear a company name badge on your right lapel. In lieu of a name badge always place the self-adhesive badge on your right lapel.
· Arrive early, if at all possible, ready to move with plenty of business cards.
· If the back of your business card is blank, have it ask for a referral of have a QR code to your website printed on a label and attach it to the back of the card.
· If there is a possibility of or providing a door prize, by all means bring one. Your name and company will be promoted as the benefactor of that door prize.
· Call in advance to inquire as to whether there will be a display table to everyone’s literature.
· If you come with an associate or friend, split up! It is a waste of time to sit, walk or talk together.
· Bring the photographer or be the photographer for the event and post the photos to your facebook page or email them to the people in the photos.
· Walk the crowd once, get familiar with the room and the people.
· Keep your “commercial” to 15 seconds or less. Have it down pat. You can always add to it (if time with allows).
· Shake hands firmly. No one wants to shake a dishrag or dead fish.
· Be positive and enthusiastic (regardless of how though your day was).
· Don’t butt into a conversation. Interrupting is rude! Stand close by and when there is a pause or an opening, jump in.
· Don’t drink. Have the distinct advantage of being sober. With many business leaders, you lose credibility with alcohol on your breath and you are slurring your words.
· Stay until the end. You might miss a “hot” prospect who arrives after you have left early.
· Write something special about each person on their business card that you collect and a note about what event you attended.
· Follow up with an email and hand written thank you note ASAP.
About Our Show Advisor: Steve Levine is President/CEO of Legacy Publishing Group, LLC, publishers of Small Business Today, Premier Agent Magazine, Profiles Magazine and Rising Stars Magazine. Steve has been in Publishing/Advertising Sales for over 30 years and in that time founded, The Metro Houston Apartment Guide, The Jacksonville Communities Guide and Perfect Wedding Guides. Steve’s clients in Property Management, Real Estate and Wedding Services reads like a “Who’s Who” in each related industry. Speaking of “Who’s Who”, Steve has been featured in “Who’s Who in Sales & Marketing” and Who’s Who in Professional Speaking”. Steve’s first book. “What the Superstars of Real Estate Have in Common” will be released by September. Steve brings his expertise in providing cost efficient results and a reputation for excellence to every publication and project that he is involved with.