You go because networking is more about farming than it is about hunting. Sometimes you go to increase your visibility and to connect with people you have never met. Sometimes you go to establish further credibility with people you know. And sometimes you may go to meet a long-time referral partner and do some business. In any case, the true master networkers know that networking events are about moving through the relationship process and not just about closing deals. Visibility leads to credibility which, with time and effort, leads to profitability.
Your goal at a networking meeting is to make yourself memorable without talking about yourself. It sounds paradoxical, doesn’t it? But, if you know how to do it, you will stand out in people’s minds when they look back on the event. The secret is simply to ask people about themselves and their businesses. In order to make your networking efforts work, you need to embrace a “relationship networking” mentality.
Remember these ten networking tips to make yourself stand out when attending networking events:
- Don’t go there to sell, go there to connect.
- Have meaningful conversations with the people you meet.
- Make yourself memorable.
- Talk less and listen more.
- Follow up with people you found interesting or who you can help in some way.
- Don’t follow up to sell them something.
- Don’t show off, show interest.
- Meet these people in a one-to-one setting and learn more about them
- Ask them: “how can I help you?”
- Go for the long-term relationship, not the short sale.
What is the goal of your networking? If it is to build your business, then it’s all about building a relationship with people. Keep your eye on the ball. Don’t try to dazzle them with your brilliance. You can do that later.
Stand out from the crowd and impress them with your genuine interest in them, not your interest in selling to them.
– Dr. Ivan Misner