Networking with local business people can generate more sales for both B2B and B2C companies. You’ll find that the opportunities at your chamber of commerce, BNI groups, or local independent networking events, when used strategically, will help you grow your business.
But, to be sure the time you spend pays off, treat your networking like a real campaign.
Your Plan of Attack–
Know your objective for the event. Is there a specific person you want to meet, or do you mainly want to catch up on the current happenings in the community and “be seen”?
If you know the purpose of the event and who is likely to attend, you can sync your objectives with the event.
NOTE: at most networking events you won’t obtain a new client or even get a firm appointment. If your objective is to get to know those in attendance to build a relationship for future business dealings, you’ll be more successful.
Your Logistics Management–
Did the sponsor ask for a response? If so, call by the deadline to let the host know you’ll attend. If you’re not familiar with the location, enter the address in a mapping program and print out a copy. Write the name and phone number of the sponsor on it and tuck it into your calendar or post it on your board where you can grab it on your way out.
Think about what time you want to get there. If a meal or program is scheduled, arrive early enough to meet and greet before the formal presentation. For a fluid event, arrive early enough to start up a conversation instead of trying to break into established groups. Continue Reading