Oct
16

Finding the Right Networking Events for YOU

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In business, personal connections are everything. People prefer to do business with those they have previously met or who have been recommended to them by people they know. This is strong incentive for business people and professionals of every kind to build up their personal networks.

Having connections makes growing a business so much easier.

To say you don’t have the time to get out there and meet people because you’re busy with work today, means that when you’re not busy tomorrow and you’re looking for business to keep the revenues flowing, you’ll have hard time of making it happen. Why? Because you won’t know enough people to contact and offer your products or services or ask for that introduction to the “buyer” you want to get in front of.

One of the best ways to meet people who can help you grow your business is by attending networking events. These might be “after-hours” meetings hosted by your local chamber of commerce, luncheon organised by industry groups, business breakfasts and the myriad social functions associated with conferences, seminars, trade shows and so on.

Networking at events can open a lot of doors for both yourself and your business.

The good thing about a networking event is the informal and relaxed setting you’re in – it’s an atmosphere where people who might be interested in your business are more comfortable to talk with you because both of you are outside the “buyer/seller” context. When you cold call potential ”buyers” and potential “referral sources” they generally have their defences up because they feel like they are being sold to. What’s more, at a networking event, hard to get to decision makers are free from their gatekeepers who screen their calls and e-mails.

The value of networking events cannot be denied or overlooked as a critical way to meet people who can take your business to the next level.

Attending networking events is one thing. But making the most of them is quite another and requires the ability to connect with others and engage them in a way that makes them interested in conversing with you. The questions that you ask, the ideas you bring to the table and your people skills combined with your networking strategy and your willingness to give of yourself first (before you ask for anything) are the fundamentals of what it takes to make solid connections for business.

Networking, done rightly, can generate the lion’s share of your business.

In this article you will gain an insight to my philosophy of networking and get practical, real-world how-to advice on how to make the most of networking events, conferences and other face-to-face opportunities.

Advertising, brochures, websites and on-line networking via LinkedIn and Twitter all have a potential role in the growth of your business, but nothing can consistently connect you with prospects and land you new business like face-to-face networking can.

Where to go? The best events for networking are the ones your ideal clients/customers and referral sources go to. (There’s an old and true saying in sales and it goes something like this: when you’re hunting elephants, find out where they gather and go there.) Most people in business belong to an industry or trade association. Simply ask your clients and referrers what meetings they go to and ask if you can tag along with them. At the meeting, have your client/referrer introduce you to people they know. And if anyone asks what you are doing there, tell them you want to learn more about the industry and to meet people and get to know them.

You are 100% missing out on good business if you aren’t going  to networking events. But you need to choose the “right” events.

If you’re at the right event, you’re bound to see someone you must speak to.

The sheer number of networking events happening in any given month can be overwhelming, so choose the type of events most suited to you. If you’re not a morning person, breakfast meetings may not be your thing. If you don’t like mixing and mingling at after-hours drinks gatherings, find another kind of event. It’s more productive, not to mention, more enjoyable to find organisations with activities you enjoy at a time of the day that works for you. Keep in mind that all networking does not have to be work-related. Beyond meetings and functions organised by your local chamber of commerce and business/industry association and networking/referral groups like BNI and Rainmakers, you can make valuable connections with like-minded people by joining a civic organisation like Rotary, by getting involved with a charity or community group, by joining a sporting or leisure club, by starting your own networking group or by taking a course or class of some kind.

Getting out to networking events will do more to build your business than making cold calls, advertising and spending money on a website or well-designed brochure.

Which networking events do you regularly attend? Remember finding the right networking events for you is critical to your networking success.

Happy networking. Maybe we will see each other at a networking event some day.

Referred to as “That Networking Guy” by many organizations, Ron Gibson provides in-depth networking training and coaching, focusing on business growth and development. Get Ron to speak at your next conference or sales meeting about how to bring in more business, more consistently and more often.  Ron can be reached on mobile 0413 420 538 and email gonetworking@iinet.net.au

Categories : Networking

Comments

  1. Cassandra says:

    Asking questions are truly fastidious thing if you are not understanding
    something totally, except this piece of writing gives nice understanding even.

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