The measure of your success in business is directly related to the number of people who know and like you. Effective business networking is the linking together of individuals who, through trust and relationship building, become walking, talking advertisements for one another. By simply following my B.R.E.A.K.F.A.S.T. tips you will quickly become a successful and confident networker.
Be Memorable. Visit as many groups as possible that spark your interest. Notice the tone and attitude of the group. Do the people sound supportive of one another? Does the leadership appear competent? Many groups will allow you to visit two times before joining.
Research. Ask yourself what your goals are in participating in networking meetings so that you will pick groups that will help you get what you are looking for. It’s important to be clear about you want to achieve from networking, if you don’t how will your contacts know when they come across an opportunity for you?
Elevator Pitch. Have a plan on how you will achieve your goals or intentions for networking. Are you there to buy andor sell? Will you make special offers to the members or their referrals? Plan regular face to face meetings for the newest or most active and regular phone calls and regular emails to your more established contacts.
Ask yourself. Networking opportunities are everywhere. You have 2 minutes to state what you do plus your three ‘good ats’ ….be ready to say what you are looking for if that’s appropriate. Trust your instincts.
Keep your profile up. Be memorable.. Have a powerful pitch, be decisive and confident about what you do. Develop a powerful unique selling point (USP) that is quick and easy to communicate. Don’t forget, you want to be remembered when you are not at the meeting too..
Fun, 100% participation.. Give 100% and you will get 100%. By being involved in the running of the group you will raise your profile, it will improve your status amongst your peers and ensure members and guests remember you for longer. Volunteer to take supporting roles within the group.
Afters. Business is often a serious and stressful affair and this can get in the way of who we really are and what we really want to achieve. Getting together with likeminded people for a common purpose can be fun and enjoyable. Simply following these rules will take away the stress and worry of networking and enable you to have fun and enjoy yourself.
Strategy. After the meeting remember to take the next step and follow up on the leads and referrals you gather. Unless you have an elephantine memory keep records of your contacts and their business. A great tip is to make a few key notes on the back of their business card. Follow through quickly and efficiently on referrals you are given. When people give you referrals, your actions are a reflection on them. Respect and honour that and your referrals will grow.
To help others. This is a really powerful networking tool. By helping others you will help yourself. Members will respect and remember you if you can provide help to them. This can be through leads, referrals or simply offering your advice or services without charge