Business Networking Events 101
Do you remember your first time? 51 reminders
- Hear about business networking
- Decide too busy so ignore
- Someone else tells you it helps them get more leads
- Still too busy – lots of cold calls to make and email advert to send
- See an email about an event – decide it’s gotta be worth a try
- Book event and look forward to the day with slight uncertainty
- Think no more about it
- Realise it’s the day and not sure what to expect
- Brush teeth, comb hair, practice smile
- Get there late, nerves kick in, wet oneself (metaphorically)
- Steel oneself, comb hair, practice smile again
- Walk in, the reception people are lovely, sign in
- Given badge, spelt incorrectly, fiddle with badge, break badge
- Head to WC to fix it – and hair, again, just in case
- Enter room full of networkers – they all seem busy with someone else
- What do you do now? Head for the bar?
- Stranger approaches – what do you say?
- “Hello, I’m John” – success, hello back, handshakes
- “Your badge is upside down” – Oh, thanks you reply
- Fiddle with badge, ice is broken – more success
- John seems interested in what you do
- Then takes 15 minutes to pitch to you about his new software
- You tell John you already have some –why he didn’t ask in the first place?
- You exchange cards – John politely exits and leaves you on your own
- Debbie rescues you, asks who you work for and pitches for 15 minutes
- Debbie says she knows someone that might need your services
- Five minutes later, Debbie’s gone yet she has your card and will call – success
- This networking lark is easy, reinvigorated you resolve to approach someone else
- Talk to two people at once – for 25 minutes – exchange cards
- What did we just talk about? It wasn’t business yet seemed to be getting on really well
- Running out of time, 25 minutes left, lots of people have left
- Talk to 2 drunk people near the bar, not great, they give cards
- Time is up, what did you get?
- 6 cards, gave out 10 somehow – how did that happen?
- Reception took two – where did the others go?
- If cards are a KPI, you got one every 15 minutes – that’s success, isn’t it?
- Go home happy to have found a new way to market – And one lead from Debbie
- Next day, call all 6, don’t reach them all
- Leave message saying how nice it was to meet them – etiquette counts!
- Receive 4 emails from people you met – or did you?
- Take 5 mins each to read – not sure what to do with them so create folder
- Networking – this is where to store all the leads from networking
- One week later, only 2 people have returned calls – Debbie not one of them
- Decide to check what you did and got for effort and money?
- Time including travel and follow up 2.5 hours – You were late
- Costs £35 including drinks, no leads, 6 cards
- If only there was a way to turn those cards into cash?
- Event organizer emailed and said you need to go more often
- Something to do with visibility, credibility and profitability – pardon?
- You thought they said it was about turning up and meeting prospects
- How often are you going to be able to make it?
Wrap up; If this sounds like you at the beginning of your business networking journey try helping new networkers embarking on theirs. Help them and they will help you. Make sure you follow up of course. Top tip; Ensure you find out why people are at the event because you may be able to invite them to others that are appropriate.
Beyond Networking is a networking results company. It will take five minutes to determine if anything they do will save you time and effort when networking.
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