One effective way to get connected with executives is networking. But unfortunately, many sales persons and even some business owners make several gaffes that lets pull their networking down and actually costing them a lot. Networking is not about just creating a list of contacts, it truly means creating mutually valuable relationships.
First biggest mistake usually people are doing is attending the wrong events. The most important thing is that to be scrupulous while choosing the right events to save costs and money. Attending local networking events are not enough to make a growing network with expected people because you may get same people again and again.
This is the biggest networking mistake that many people make. It is important to carefully choose the right events; otherwise you are simply wasting your time and money. If you are attending all events but your target clientele are not attending those events then do change the strategy and immediately start hunting for those events where you may get your target people to get benefited in your business.
Always remember be proactive while attending events. Many people are not comfortable in conversation, and waiting for other to initiate. But once you will be active for conversation and be cognizant of having more command and power. People should listen to you and make them feel reassured. So be active and talkative.
Whenever you meet someone in an event, basically you need to ask them regarding their business, further inform them about your own. Always begin the conversation with the basic questions like – What is your name? What is your company name? affiliation, position, etc. Follow the introductions and exchange your information with them.
Most of the time, we can see persons, those are following “give and grab” approach, where they come to you talk for a minute or introducing themselves and dabbed their business card and grab yours further searching for the next one. Their aim is to attend each and every event to get as many as business cards. But this is not a right strategy, if you are thinking so. The key to networking is linking with those who might be interested in your product or service and to learn how you can assist other people in the event.
Always give a second date because you don’t want to ask everyone in the event to lunch, dinner or a cup of coffee. You want to strike up a conversation and see if there’s potential with this individual. If you don’t think that person is a well suited, then get prepared for the next until you do find someone that flares your interest. Once you do, make sure that you get their contact information so that you can accelerate for a second meeting in the future.
If you are pitching your product in the networking events, it’s not a good place to launce your product or service. You need to obtain a better understanding of the people or a good sense to determine who will take interest in your service and product, if you observe anyone is interested with your offerings you need to suggest a particular day or time to meet and discuss.
Talking too much while attending the networking events is also one gaff to make your networking down. Those who are taking too much and not giving others chance to share their thoughts and opinions rarely achieved good results from their expectations, because they are not listening to anyone just dominating with their conversation.
Without a strong value proposition, you might talk about your business and products in a way that doesn’t resound with your customers. You don’t know what’s wrong, but you’re making your details feel misunderstood. And people who feel misunderstood don’t buy from you. The more clearly you can articulate your value proposition, the easier it is for others to know how you can help them in their network.
Networking is all about maintaining relationships. If you are meeting someone at every event or more than three to four events you need to maintain a relationship with them. You have to care for the relationship which will give you more opportunities to grow your network as well as business.
You can connect with them by email, telephone, face-to-face, or something like Skype or social networking sites. Use CRM to manage your contacts. Every conversation you have with those people should give them and your insight into how you can help each other.
Spend some time on social networking; most of the social networking sites are really works for maintaining relations like twitter and LinkedIn professional sites. It will let you an upcoming conference, you can use everything from LinkedIn to a company website to learn information prior to meeting people who interest you. Then you can follow up with that person through LinkedIn and Twitter.
Also you may get benefited by sharing or creating relevant articles or blogs that will define your position value and informative to anyone who is interested. You may join a group or community in discussions and answer or ask questions to update yourself.
However, Networking is an effective method to connect with new people, give new opportunities and improve your results. But, you need to use the right strategy. Avoid the gaffes discussed above and see the difference in your business.