Top Tips for Effective Networking!

When was the last time you attended a network function?

How did you go?

What did you do?

Did you connect with your ideal clients?

When we asked some of the business owners what they thought of networking events, this is what they said:

  • It’s a time waster.

  • There’s no potential clients there.

  • I don’t actually get any work through attending networking functions.

  • I have more important things to do.

The truth is success at networking functions is all about planning in advance so that when you are there you have a plan of action to meet other people you can do business with.

Keep in mind, every business is different so networking is not going to be the marketing tool for everyone. I can however reassure you that networking will help your business grow if you understand its power. It’s not what you do there that counts, it’s how you approach networking that is the key to effectiveness. After all, don’t you prefer to do business with the people you know and like rather than don’t know that at all?

So if you are willing to have a go, here are ten useful tips that you can try at your next networking  event.

As with any marketing tool you use, you firstly need to ask yourself these questions:

  • Why do I need to network?

  • What do I want to achieve at the networking function?

  • Who do I want to connect with at the event?

Before you rush out the door and head to the event, have a clear goal.

With that goal in mind, here’s those ten tips:

  1. Select networking groups that compliment your business – Find business network groups that are dynamic and proactive.

  2. Use a network event planner and set goals for each event. For example, the number of business cards you are planning to give out and number of contacts you would like to get from the event.

  3. Focus on your ideal clients and the ideal businesses you can collaborate (joint venture) with. Be clear on the type of business you are looking for – Think about the size, type, and location of businesses you would like to work with.

  4. Make it easy for people to refer work to you by having a clear and concise offer.

  5. Ask open questions of the people you meet at the event, learn about them and their businesses. If you show genuine and sincere interest in them through active listening it’s a great way of building lasting relationships with people.

  6. Have a great story to tell and be enthusiastic about it – Inspire people by allwing them to feel interested in what you do. Never hard sell. You don’t want to come across pushy.

  7. Bring lots of business cards or DL size post cards.

  8. After the event, make a  follow up call or email to the people you connected with. Remember, the networking event is the just start of the relationship. Find real and genuine ways that you can add value to thier business.

  9. Have fun and enjoy the event (otherwise it will become just a boring chore.)

  10. Last but not least, make sure you measure the results of your efforts.

Now you have these ten tips to effective networking, use them and style them to suit you and your business.

Vinh Van Lam
the authorVinh Van Lam
Vinh Van Lam, co-founder of ArtSHINE, is a visionary art coach and entrepreneur with a passion for fostering creativity. With a diverse background in art and business, he brings a unique perspective to empower emerging artists, enabling them to thrive in the dynamic art industry through the innovative platform of ArtSHINE.

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