I recently hung out with a good friend and business partner at a networking event in Atlanta. As I was ordering my favorite drink, Orange Juice and Cranberry straight, I was approached by gentleman with the largest name badge that I have ever seen. He asked me what I did for a living and proceeded to throw up the details of the product he was selling.
As a result I thought I would post three quick and effective Networking Tips that can assist anyone with the start of a productive relationships at a Networking event.
- When asked “what do you do for living?” always be brief. Remember you will not make a sell at the event you are there to gather contacts. Most of the time when people ask you “what do you do” it is only because it will later allow them to tell you what they do in greater detail.
- Before you arrive at the event scroll through your contacts. You have to add value to yourself immediately. I always like to see if I can connect a contact I just met immediately with a contact that I have a relationship with. This will show your new contact how serious you are about relationships and it will also teach them how you like to work.
- Follow Up, Follow Up, And Follow Up. At the networking events you make contacts. After the event you build relationships. People like to do business with people that they like. If they do not know you then it will be hard for them to like you. It my take several interactions to cultivate a effective relationship. After an event I like to use Nice to Meet You Cards from SendOutCards. I usually take photos of my new contact and me and upload it to a greeting card from my IPhone. People will be hesitant to throw a picture of them away so that will add more value to the card and the message. Follow up is important especially if you added value at the event. First card should be a nice to meet you and the second one should be information on what you do for a living. The third one can be a get together request followed up by a phone call.
Bottom Line: Networking is adding value to the contacts that you meet. In return those contacts will show interest in what you do and then add value to you.