Networking is an important part of growing a business. But what you may not know is how to network most effectively. A little preparation and following these three, easy steps can ensure you are confident and fully equipped to walk away from your next networking event with a solid foundation of success.
1. Prep your one breath story
Think about how you talk about your company and what you do. Can you communicate it in one breath? It’s important to be clear and concise with your “one breath” story, so you capture people’s attention (and get your point across) before you lose it.
Shelly Jorgensen, the CEO of Veranda Networking Group, suggests practicing your one breath story with a teenager. “A teenager’s attention span for something they are not interested in is very short. If you can communicate what you do, who you serve, and why you do (it to a teenager), you will be able to do it at your next networking event.”
2. Build a table of trust, not a customer base
Your customer may not be at your next networking event. However, your next customer is in the network of the people at your next networking event. You never know who knows who.
Stevie Bodnar, Sales and Networking Strategist, stresses the importance of this mindset: “Referrals are extremely powerful in any situation––whether trying to get that next opportunity or even a major business deal. Do not walk into a networking situation with any other intention than just to build a relationship.”
“Recommendations are made because you impressed one person with your attitude, outlook, and knowledge, Jorgensen adds. “The easiest way to leave a networking event feeling dissatisfied, maybe even a little sleazy, is to focus too much on sales. Put relationships and trust first. Everything else will naturally unfold.”
3. Plan for your follow ups
When you block time in your calendar for your next networking event, go ahead and block an extra 90 minutes on the back-end. This way, you will have enough time set aside to get home and knock out the follow-up after the event.
Send emails to the people you met to thank them for their conversation and following-up on any asks that resulted from it. Jorgensen suggests a slightly different approach to a follow-up, “When following up, send out your one breath story, in written, third-person form, so people can forward it to those in their network who could use your services. This makes it so much easier to copy-paste any introductions.”
Clair Kim is a business architect for multi six-plus figure thought leaders that are looking to eliminate their income cap and burnout and effortlessly scale to 7-8 figures. She has consulted with companies of all stages (from ideation to exit, from no revenue to 10 figure organizations) internationally using her REFRESH method. Her insights are featured in major media publications such as Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine and alongside award-winning entrepreneurs Michael Stelzner, Ryan Levesque, and John Lee Dumas on The Brand Journalism Advantage Podcast (featured as the 35 Outstanding Podcasts by clairlydesigned.com.
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