A warm thank you to Reno for allowing me to be a guest blogger on your site this week. This is week two in my summer Blog World Tour and I am honored to be able to include Reno’s blog as a premier destination on this journey.
Earlier this week I shared with you a few tips regarding the power of utilizing your business card as a networking tool. Today I would like to share three more in-person networking strategies with you.
- Arrive Early and Stay Late
- Mingle, Reach Out, and Circulate
- Listen More Than You Speak
To develop a well-rounded networking strategy, you will want to participate in in-person networking. In-person networking allows you the opportunity to be able to quickly connect with people. I’d venture to say that you’ve heard it said, people want to do business with people whom they know, like and trust. Let’s explore a few effective strategies for developing your “know, like and trust” factor through in person networking
1. Arrive Early and Stay Late
Arriving early allows you to connect with the organizers, the movers and shakers and greet people as they come through the door. You become familiar to them, because if you do this over time, you will become a known entity and a familiar face to people. You will also be able to build relationships by helping others build relationships. As people arrive, since you know who is already there, you can help make introductions. Let’s say that a Realtor walks through the door and you know that there is already a mortgage loan officer in the room and you think that there might be some good synergy there. That could turn into a good alliance and both of these people will be grateful to you for making this connection.
The reason to stay late is that you’ll get to network with the people who stay late. You’ll also become known to the chamber of commerce officers or the hosting organization as a person who gives and a person who can be counted on. In time, they may want to feature you in their newsletter, ask you to serve on a committee, or even have you as a guest speaker, which will put you in front of even more people. You become known as a go-to person, a person who networks and a person who is serious about their business.
2. Mingle, Reach Out, and Circulate
When you attend networking events, focus on networking, mingling, and getting to know people. What you don’t want to do is spend the bulk of the time sitting and chatting with people whom you work with. If you arrive at the event with colleagues, make a plan with them to get to know new people and compare notes afterwards. You are there to network and meet other people. If you find yourself squirreled up in the corner with people whom you know, find a way to extract yourself so that you can mingle and meet new people.
When you are networking with new people there are a few things to consider. It is best to connect with fewer people and go deeper than it is to connect with more people on a surface level.
If you find yourself speaking with someone and there seems to be a good connection and you get a sense that continuing the conversation would be a good use of time, spend more time with that person. However, you don’t want to keep him or her from connecting with other people. You may want to check in with this new contact to see if he or she would like to continue the conversation or would prefer to circulate and perhaps get together for lunch or coffee later in the week. At that time you can take the relationship to the next level.
If you are in a group of two or three people and they are gossiping or speaking negatively or for whatever reason you don’t feel that there is good synergy, find a reason to extract yourself. You can simply say, “I’ve enjoyed our conversation. I’m going to go mingle; let’s connect up later.” Then just politely remove yourself and find another group to connect with.
3. Listen More Than You Speak
When you connect with someone, you don’t want to start the conversation telling them all about you and your products and then give them your card and tell them to visit your Web site. That person will throw your card away. Instead, when you connect with someone, ask them to tell you about themselves. You can say, “So, tell me about your business? Have you been in town a long time? Aside from business, what do you enjoy doing? If you could do anything with your time, what would you do?” Find out about them because you might be able to make a connection for them. If, for example, they tell you that they love boating or sky-diving and you know someone on the other side of the room that shares the same passion, you can make a wonderful introduction. Then you’ll become known as a connector and this will be another way for you to add value. This will also deepen your relationships with these people because they will realize that you are not all about business but that you are also very committed to building relationships. Increase your likeability factor and become known as a person of value before you try to “get” business from your network. It’s more important to sell your network on you than on your product.
Stay tuned as later this week I share three more in-person networking tips. Thank you Reno for having me as a guest blogger on your site and for participating in the Blog World Tour.
D’vorah Lansky, M.Ed.
Relationship Marketing Wizard
Join us on the Blog World Tour at – www.BlogWorldTour.com/blog