Image by: Victor1558
By Theresa Grant
Let’s be honest ladies. Networking is very difficult to master. Even the top millionaires don’t always network correctly. They got where they were because they basically faked it until they made it; but they still work on their networking prowess.
Before you go out to a networking event, let’s go over some crucial networking steps.
Location, Location, Location!
Make sure to go to a variety of events. Just because a networking event sounds amazing, doesn’t mean that the people there will make it an amazing experience.
Let’s take group travel businesses for example. If you were a group travel organizer, you would want to go to every single travel expo and event. There are vendors to get amazing discounts, group organizers mingle with each other, and there’s even an amazing vibe there.
What about the people? Where are your customers coming from? Sure; there may be some customers that will book through you that you met at the expo… but it’s rather unlikely. Go to business expos, entrepreneur expos, and even single’s or couple’s expos (or small events). That way; you’ll find your customer base WHILE building your business.
Make sure to step outside of your comfort zone when it comes to where you are going to network. Just because you have a niche market doesn’t mean you can’t find your niche customer base in different aspects of life and events!
The next step once you’ve actually booked your events for the month is to be prepared. Be prepared with your “elevator pitch” (keep your pitch short and precise), business cards, coupons/specials if they become a customer today (if applicable), and even have questions prepared.
You want to be able to build a rapport with every single person you talk to. The more likable you are; the better chance they’ll want what you have to offer.
Being a woman in power, it will be a little easier to get people on your side. Women are more likable; it can be proven. When it comes to men, they either are seen as creepy or charming; so they have to try to be more charming than creepy.
The final step to successful networking is to make sure to grab contact information from every single person you talk with. Whether you wrote it down in your little black book or asked for their business card; grab their information.
It’s basically the most crucial step in marinating the relationship. The longer you have said relationship with the customer, the longer they will remain a customer.
After the networking event, make sure to follow up with every single person you had a conversation with. Make sure to let them know you appreciated the time to speak with them and make sure to keep in touch with them.
If anything else; every 3-4 months, make sure to send them a post card to remind them you are still around. Happy holidays, birthdays, or even specials you are offering them will definitely make sure they stick with your business.