4.5 steps for successful business networking event

Make the most of that business networking event Business networking events can be invaluable for enhancing your business, in addition to increasing your social circles. With proper preparation and execution, you can maximize that networking event, and help ensure it meets your needs. There are 4.5 steps to the process: 1. Develop your objective. Is … Read more

Learn to improvise while networking

Business networking events, like other programs, sometimes don’t proceed as planned. Or, they weren’t formatted as you thought. Do you sulk and walk away? Or do you turn the unfortunate into a positive?

traits of a leader, how to be a good leader, being a good leader, how to be a managerI recently learned of an event that I thought was open only to members of the local Chamber of Commerce. It was a pre-Grand Opening event for a new dessert place in town. I thought, Great! Check out a new business, and get in some networking. Imagine my surprise, then, when I noticed a line out front of the building. Turns out the business had broadcast the event, so dozens (perhaps hundreds) of people showed up.

Good for them. As for me, I needed to improvise.

My first step entailed scoping the crowd. I was looking for any familiar faces, particularly local business people. Didn’t see any. Hmmm.

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Craft thoughtful messages after business networking events

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know I value the power of networking. Because business relationships often begin at the personal level–the prospect has to like and trust you before he’ll buy from you–it is so important to establish those professional connections. Business networking opportunities provide one forum.

But after the networking event or other meeting, do you send a message? Is it thoughtful and insightful, or just another plug for your business? Leave a positive impression with a good message.

Start your message by reviewing the ideas or concepts you and the other person discussed. Include some of the finer points about the person that you observed. These can be personality or presentation (speaking) traits, as well as business skills you noticed. This way you recap the discussion and compliment the person at the same time.

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Additional tips for attending business networking events

More tips for your business networking

In an earlier column, I discussed some of the fundamentals of participating in a business networking event. Recent networking events reminded me of some additional steps you can take to ensure the event is a success for you and the others.

Invite others into your conversation. During one event I was seated at a table with three other networkers. As I left to get a soda, I noticed another attendee standing off by herself. I approached her and invited her to join us.

You recall those times when you stood by yourself, and how happy you were when someone approached to chat. Now it’s your turn. At various times during the meeting, glance around the room. Do you see another attendee standing by himself or herself? Approach and introduce yourself. It’s the professional thing to do, and it just may open the door to a business relationship. 

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Business networking events vital to your success

Do you attend business networking events regularly? If not, why not? They are an effective and inexpensive way to market yourself and your business. You can mingle with other business people in a casual environment, enjoy some food, talk shop, and along the way pick up some new contacts. Some of those folks are right in your backyard, figuratively if not literally.

There are a couple principles to keep in mind about networking events. First, be patient. If it’s your first event for that business networking group, the attendees may not know you. You need time to build rapport and relationships. That will require more than one event, so plan on networking regularly. You will be remembered over time.

Second, like all business relationships, those that are conceived during a networking event should be done so with mutually beneficial intentions in mind. As you will note from the suggestions that follow, you’ll spend a significant amount of time getting to know the other attendees, their needs, and so on. It’s a twist on the old saying, “It is better to give than to receive.” As Zig Ziglar famously said, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.”

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