Tired of spending hours networking and not seeing real results? Check out these 8 tips for improving your results.
- Have a plan. The time and money you put into networking should be an investment for your business. Not having a plan with clear measurable goals is like driving a car without a destination and hoping you will get there – when you don’t know where there is….
- Think relationship NOT new Client. Go to a networking event with the mindset of looking for new business relationships not your next customer. People buy and refer people they know, like and trust.
- Ask how you can help them. Many people go to a networking event thinking of how they can get new clients, new referrals, etc. Consider asking someone you meet “How can I help you?” It is amazing how this one simple question can be the start of great new relationship.
- Get clear on whom you would like to meet. It is a lot easier to find a new strategic partner, referral source or even potential client when you can describe them. For example, would a CPA be a good potential referral source? If so, set a goal to meet a CPA (or get an introduction) for your next networking event.
- Have a clear ASK. If someone at a networking event asked you “how can I help you?” Would you be able to answer that question with a clear and concise statement? If your answer is no, take the time now to make sure you can.
- Develop an easy to understand version of how you help your clients. When people ask, “what do you do?” be able to tell them in a clear, concise way that is simple to understand.
- Nurture your connections. Have a plan for staying in touch with the people you meet and want to include in your personal network. Most people spend a lot of time networking, but very little time nurturing relationships with the people they meet.
- Evaluate your results on a regular basis. Don’t fall into the trap of networking for the sake of networking. If you are not building beneficial relationships, ask yourself if you are networking with the right groups and make any adjustments you need to make.
Debra Austin is a business coach, consultant, speaker and facilitator. She is also the founder of Chaos2Results Business Coaching, a company committed to helping business owners who are serious about building successful businesses.
The content of this article may be forwarded in full without special permission provided it is used for nonprofit purposes and full attribution and copyright notice are given. For all other purposes, contact Debra Austin at firstname.lastname@example.org