How to Approach Your First Networking Event
I have identified the top 5 guideposts that will help make your next networking experience a breeze:
- Begin with the End in Mind – Know exactly how many contacts you would like to make by the end of the event. In an open networking setting, 5-7 new business cards is an acceptable start.
- Think Strategically – If you go to an event expecting to find your next deal or job, you will fail. Look for partners who target the same market that you do, grab their business card, and set a time to meet late to talk about trading leads.
- Speak in Benefit Statements – No one cares what you do; they’re only concerned about how you can help them or their clients. When you speak in benefit statements, you immediately appeal to the “WIIFM” factor (what’s-in-it-for-me). To define the benefit you bring to an organization, think about your target market/target decision makers most pressing problem, and how you solve it.
- Keep it Short – Ideal conversations at networking events are short. Talk about your job, ideal client, ideal strategic partner, commit to making a connection for each other, and then go to the next person. Your job in networking events is to find as many of the right relationships as you can quickly.
- Seek to Help First – The more you give the more you receive. Figure out a way you can help each person you meet by giving them a good introduction to someone who can help them accomplish their goals. When you do that, others will strive to help you as well.
See? It’s easy, right?
After you have used these tips, come back and let me know how they worked for you!
Jamar Cobb-Dennard is a sales recruiting expert who helps companies find the right salesperson fast. To learn more, click here.