Attending a networking event with the idea of selling yourself is an outdated strategy. These days, a much more effective way of introducing yourself and your services is to show a genuine interest in other people’s thoughts and challenges. Below, we have gathered five steps you can take to network successfully and with new business in mind.
- Don’t waste your time on ‘useless’ events
To reap the benefits of networking, you will firstly have to put in the work. Infinite number of events are being hosted every day, especially with the recent popularity of virtual events. So do your research, identify the events are best suited for you and your business, look into other attendees and prepare your networking strategy accordingly. You will need to set a budget for travel expenses (transport, room, F&B, etc.) and, most especially, commit your time to the entire event to make the most of it.
- Base your event choice on the audience
The most important aspect of an event (when done with new business in mind) is the caliber of attendees. For networking to actually work, it is essential to connect with the most senior executives in your pipeline – those who are responsible for making a deal with you and your business. You know your product better than anyone. Who do you think needs it? If you could be introduced to anyone to talk about your services, who would it be?
- Listen first, sell second
Rather than focusing on talking business as quickly as possible, take time to truly engage with your target audience. Understand who they are and ask about the challenges they are facing in order to assess whether they would actually make a good client. Listen and learn from your pipeline. Only then, you should share your experiences and expertise with them.
- Host knowledge sharing discussions
Sponsoring targeted round-tables and knowledge-sharing discussions can be invaluable opportunities. The Ortus Club is a leading marketing company primarily dedicated to c-level events. With hundreds of success stories under their belt, the company supports firms that wish to align themselves with specific business topics and build meaningful business relationships with key targets.
- Have fun!
Networking is all about being in the right place at the right time. Once you find yourself in front of the right decision makers, in an environment that encourages meaningful interactions, adopting a professional yet relaxed and friendly attitude can go a long way. This will help you establish a rapport based on trust – key to any long lasting relationship!