Give a hand up at Networking events
Every business owner knows networking is critical to success, but not every business owner enjoys it. If there is a hollow anxiety in the pit of your stomach as you think about your next networking event, remember these 5 tips to go from survivor to superstar:
1. Breathe! Most dead people aren’t breathing. It’s a scientific fact. Coincidence? I think not. You might think you know how to do it, but try this next time the butterflies are swirling in your stomach. Breathe slowly through your nose, filling your lower and then upper lungs. Holding this breath for 3 seconds and the exhaling slowly through, what my daughter calls “kissy lips”. Repeat as needed until the swarm is a soft flutter. This may seem silly, but if it works for you as Harvard Medical School’s recent publication shows, then do it.
2. Ask Questions. It is the most basic strategy of sales, but in situations like a networking event we can forget the basics. Here are a few great questions to get your started: “How are you doing?” This is a great questions because in this environment the response is typically about their business, not themselves. This opens the door for you to ask, “What business are you in?” By listening to them and how they respond you can learn a lot about them and their work passions. The more you know about anything, the more interesting it becomes. At least that’s is what every obscure History Channel documentary has taught me. Let this growing interest guide your questions
3. Listen. The point to asking questions is to listen to the answers, but there are many clues that someone is actively listening to you. Some clues about being a good listener are physical, i.e. head nodding, no crossed arms, smiles, and eye contact. Some are verbal such as asking more questions or paraphrasing what they said and asking them if they agree. With networking events, your listening skills should be focused on finding an opportunity in their business that needs to be solved and recommending someone else to do it. What? Read on dear subscriber.
4. Recommend. The key to recommending someone else to solve the opportunity is critical to your success at the networking event. First, you aren’t going there to sell so don’t worry about meeting some imaginary quota. Second, nothing is more demoralizing than handing out 20 cards and getting no calls. Lastly, network effects. Yes, network effects. The same things that drive google, twitter, and facebook can drive your business. If you’re curious how, consider that to the person you are talking to you have just demonstrated that being in your network means you are going to sell their business to the people you talk to. Of course, that means they will immediately want to be in your network, because who wants to go to all those networking events if someone else will do it for you?
5. Offer. It’s always good to have an offer handy when going to Network Event. It’s the ace up your sleeve to give you confidence.As you read earlier, the key is to have the offer come from someone in your network that is general enough to fit the needs of any business and specific enough to be relevant to the conversation you are having.
As a shameless plug and a way for you to get started, we will immediately add value to your network, take the stress out of the event, and give you an example of what a good offer looks like by provide a 60-Day Complimentary Trial to anyone you recommend at your next Networking event. Getting started is easy, just enter your referral’s email and click Give Offer!
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