involved with local networking groups to help expand your business. Networking group and local chamber lunches, dinners and events can greatly increase the number of referrals that you receive on a regular basis. The following are basic networking tips that will help you maximize the efficiency of your networking experience:
- Don't blanket the event with business cards. Each time you go to an event you want to make at the most 6 quality contacts. The more time you spend with one person the more likely it is that they will become a client.
- Don't say what you do until asked. You should be more interested in the person you are talking to than your own business. If you do this the person with whom you are talking will feel important to you. We call this technique entering the client's world. The unwritten rule of reciprocity states that if you ask someone what they do for a living they will return the favor.
- Don't give a card until asked. If you shove a card in someone's face it is likely to end up in their database of leads. If you are looking for clients (rather than becoming one) you need the people you meet to want a business card. Remember at these events you should spend 90% of your time talking about the people you meet and 10% on you and your business. Again utilize the law of reciprocity - if you want someone to ask you for your business card, ask for theirs.
- Focus on what makes you different. When you do get a chance to talk about your business focus on the qualities that set you apart from your competitors. Make sure to back your pitch with statistics. Be concise, so that they know exactly what you do and more importantly what you can do for them.
- What do you do?
- How did you get into that?
- What do you like most about it?
- How did you find out about this event?
- What other events do you go to?