I have been involved in Networking for a number of years, different types of groups, I seen it done well, not so well, and I have styled my own approach through my own mistakes. I thought I would share my own experiences with fellow Chamber Members.
- Understand your pitch, your business qualities, examples of where you have added value to your Clients, who and what are you specifically looking for in terms of sector, businesses and specific people where you wish for warm introductions to be orchestrated for you.
- Set meeting expectations with yourself, your own goals and objectives for participating ; do you wish to meet someone in a specific industry, meet as many business owners as possible, learn from others etc
- Remember, you are not just marketing to the room but through the room to wider networks
- Consider every business owner in the meeting as a potential opportunity, irrespecitve of their profession or industry, you do not know who they know, which authorities whereby they are preferred suppliers, who they once worked for, who they are related to
- Post on LINKEDIN that you are attending the meeting, people could respond who are also attending, you could build relationships from there alone
- Ensure your LINKED IN Profile and your website is fully updated
- Review attendee list prior to the meeting, conduct research on attendees, see who you may synergise with, check their website, LinkedIn, maybe contact them prior to the meeting and ask for a 121 post the meeting, use initiative
- Dress for the meeting, look like you are attending a business meeting and where possible use your logo as your zoom background
- Treat every business owner in the meeting as your extended marketing team, being specific so they can refer and endorse you is everything
- Treat this meeting as one of the most important meetings of the week and also like you would any another serious Client meeting
- Do not be late, be punctual, be positive, personable, presentable
- Do not turn off your camera during the meeting (similar to walking out of a meeting if it was face to face), try to not let yourself be disturbed during the meeting, not always possible for homeworkers and being natural is not always bad thing but find a balance
- LISTEN to fellow business owners, do not just be wait to jump in to promote yourself
- Educate where possible, powerful marketing to demonstrate your knowledge to the benefit business owners
- Connect with attendees after the meeting via LINKEDIN, accompany invite with a personal message, ask for a 1-2-1 to discuss how you can benefit each other. Do not simply message and promote yourself, immediately turn
- Look at attendees posts on LINKEDIN, like, comment, start discussions, engage, build relationships
- It is your platform, your moment, your pitch, your opportunity, do not blame the networking opportunity if your expectations are not met, the opportunity is there, you need to embrace it.
Hope there is at least one experience that you find useful, these are just my experiences, thoughts, suggestions
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