“I wish I could get more leads when I network”. If this is a desire of yours, and you’re willing to get serious about the science of networking, I have listed some techniques and tactics that will help you succeed in getting solid prospects.
(See last weeks article…If you’re not following the fundamental rules of networking, don’t even try the subtle ones, they won’t work.)
Ten subtleties to help your networking success are…
- Early in the event, stand by the entrance if possible. This way you can see everyone and establish your targets.
- Spend 75% of your time with people you don’t know. Hanging around with fellow employees and friends is fun but won’t put any prospect cards in your pocket.
- Spend 25% of your time building existing relationships. Talk to your customers. The better you get to know them, the stronger their loyalty to you and your company grows.
- After you give your 10second introduction, ask the other person what they do BEFORE YOU START TALKING IN DEPTH ABOUT WHAT YOU DO.
- After your prospect has told you about him/herself, your next move is a choice between establishing rapport (finding common interests), and an opportunity to arouse interest in your product/service. (What the prospect said in his introduction will be the guide as to which way to go.)
- If the person seems to be a good prospect, you must establish some common ground besides business. Find one thing you both like or know about.
- If you want to get the prospect’s card offer your card first, or give a reason you need the card (give me your card and I’ll mail you some information).
- Write all pertinent info on the back of the prospect’s card immediately. You will need this to refer to when following up.
- Don’t sell your product/service. Just establish some rapport, some confidence and SELL AN APPOINTMENT.
- After you have established the contact, got the business card, established rapport, and confirmed your next action (mail, call, appointment), MOVE ON.
Be aware of time. Don’t spend too much of it with one person or you defeat the purpose of networking. Your objective is to take advantage of the entire room. If you spend 3 minutes with a prospect, that gives you a possibility of 20 contacts per hour.
The size of the event dictates the amount of time you should spend. The larger the event, the shorter time per contact, and the less time you should spend with people you know.
Our office has a yearly wall calendar with all networking events posted and a small bulletin board next to it to post the event promotional pieces or invitations. Personally, I follow the “50butt rule“. If there are more than 50 butts in one room, my butt is there too.
Networking is a powerful, cost effective marketing weapon. If utilized properly it can provide the basis for your business growth.
To make the most of a networking event,
spend 75% of your time with people you don’t know.
NETWORKING…The Official Game. If you’re going to play, play to win. Just go to www.gitomer.com, register if you’re a first-time user and enter the word GAME in the GitBit box.