Love it or loathe it, business networking is a great way to market your company and find new customers for your small business.
Here are 9 tried and tested business networking tips to help you get started...
1. How to Find Networking Groups in Your Area
Find local business networking events by doing a Google search (Eventbrite is good) or through social media.
and similarly don’t try to get one from everyone in the room.
Try to connect with people first.
3. Elevator Pitch
Prepare your elevator pitch before you go.
This is a short summary telling people
It shouldn’t be any more than 2 minutes long.
It’s a good idea to memorise and practice your elevator pitch beforehand so that it flows smoothly on the day (although you want it to come across as natural as possible and not as if you are reciting it verbatim for the 100th time!).
Remember to be yourself.
Rather than trying to speak to everyone in the room, decide who might be a potential customer and focus your attention on them.
See if you can get a list of who will be attending before you go or look at the list of attendees if there is one when you arrive.
Get to know the organiser so they can introduce you to potential customers.
Try to build up a relationship with people who you think might be useful or are potential customers.
Remember, it doesn’t all need to be about business:
Can you help them? Take their card and pass business their way if you can. They’ll hopefully want to repay the favour.
6. Offer to Help Out
If you find the whole standing around thing just too awkward, ask if you can be a helper. This way you can chat to potential customers when you’re active on the registration desk etc.
7. Arrive Early
If you’re better with small groups than large crowds, arrive early when there are less people about. It’s much easier to have one to ones or small group discussions at this stage.
8. Be Consistent
Keep going to the same business networking events to try to build up relationships with potential customers. The more often you go, the better you will get to know people and they will start to feel like they know you.
People are more likely to do business with people they know and trust.
9. Do Your Homework Once You Get Back to the Office
It’s a good idea to make a few notes on the business cards you collect straight after the event, which might help you connect with the people when you get back to your desk.
For example if they say they collect stamps, you could send them a link to an interesting article about stamps.
Don’t just try to sell your products/services.
Within 48 hours of being at the networking event you should have added all the details from the business cards you collected to your contacts list.
Try to connect with the people on
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