Fact: Networking is essential to the growth of our business.
OK, we agree with this fact but how do we connect with the ‘right’ people? Since many decision makers rarely attend local networking events, how do we build rapport with them if they’re not there?
You can keep attending the many events around town, sampling the food, balancing the wine glass, exchanging business cards and in general, having a pleasant time or you can put some thought into this process and to use a well-worn phrase: “Work smarter not harder.”
1. Clarify your target market and value proposition
It’s quite likely that your product or service fits better in certain companies than others. That’s important for people to know or else they’ll try to connect you with the wrong people.
Practice and perfect your Intriguing IntroductionäBe able to articulate your value proposition – the benefit of doing business with you. What are people struggling with? When you focus on those areas where you can make a difference, your success at networking multiplies.
2. Focus, focus, FOCUS!
Before you attend your next networking event, think about who you’d like to meet. What company are they with? What’s their position? What challenges are they facing? Will someone you know be at the event to make an introduction?
3. They’re Right Under Your Nose!
Who have you met? Are they connected to the people you would like to meet? Too many times the people right in front of you are dismissed because there isn’t a direct match with your ‘offering’ and their ‘needs’. Oops! 6 Degrees of Separation – it’s a fact!
4. Be a Connector, not a Collector.
To be successful at networking, you have to be willing to help the other person. You’ve got to give to get. “The Law of Reciprocity states: people want to help others who help them.” Next time you meet someone, don’t just collect their business card, find out what makes them tick.
5. Go where they go
Still not connecting? If you’re not meeting the right people it doesn’t mean that you’re not doing it right – you’re just not in the right place.
To be successful at networking, you have to be smart about it. Hoping and wishing to connect with your ideal client ‘this time’, won’t cut it. Instead, put your brain to work and put some “thoughtful” purpose into your networking. You’ll be amazed at the results!