Parties at this time of the year can put you “in the black” for next year’s business.
Networking is an investment for you because it is time consuming and can also be financial if you have to pay for the event and travel.
Make the most of it by spending time with people that will lead to a mutually beneficial relationship and most importantly, commit to following up with your new connections! They become part of your precious network!
My attendance at a recent chamber of commerce holiday party had me implementing my regular routines and trying something new. Here are some tips to share with you…
- Before you leave for the event, set a goal for how many quality connections you intend on making, be sure you have an abundance of your business cards, a pen for note taking, and easy access to them at the social. Take a deep breath before entering the event room and leave your shyness at the door. Get ready to introduce yourself to people you don’t know with a smile and the intent to get to know them first.
- Be curious about others and be a deliberate listener. As you listen, think of who you know or a resource that will be helpful to them and share that information real time or with follow-up communication. How can you be a resource for them? Are they a prospect for you? Are you a prospect for them? Exchange business cards but go for quality and get to know those connections better. If it’s not mutual, politely move on.
- Give the event a chance to work for you. Sometimes it takes a while to engage and get more comfortable in a room full of people.
- The best way to kill your networking investment is to hang around with people you work with daily. Spend time deepening relationships with prior connections, meeting new people, making introductions and getting introduced.
- Within 36 hours, connect with your new contacts on LinkedIn along with a short reminder note about your conversation. Plan your follow-up if you committed to do so.
- As your connections accept your invitation, go into your network on LinkedIn and “tag” them so you can identify where you met. You can create the tags in 2 places: in your network list under NETWORK or within a connection’s PROFILE. When you tag a connection in their profile, you can also include information such as where you met, special notes or a reminder of when to contact them again.
- Follow-up: There are many ways to effectively communicate with your network. These include creative messaging and updates with compelling content. Tags can later be used to identify a specific category for creative, targeted messaging within LinkedIn. I’ve highlighted some of my tags from my NETWORK list in the image below. Some are tagged by the event I met them at or their profession. You can develop your own system.
What systems do you have to deepen relationships that lead to new business, resources and referrals?
Penny Pearl, Founder of Bear2Bull Coaching is skilled in networking both at live social events and online. She coaches entrepreneurs, start-ups and sales organizations on how to build better networking skills to generate new sales and increase business. Penny is an entrepreneur with a strong sales background and a Board Member for the International Coach Federation, Sacramento Chapter as the Professional Development Chair. Her engaging coaching style makes the adventure of learning online business building networking skills simple so you can get results to grow your sales!
She can be reached at Penny@Bear2Bull Coaching.com.
To get a free download on networking tips called BETTER NETWORKING = MORE SALES, click here:
Sign up for a NETWORKING TELESEMINAR OR WEBINAR right here!
Become a Super Networker at our WORKSHOP (in Sacramento area) in January by registering here!