"The process of developing and activating your relationships to increase your business, enhance your knowledge, expand your sphere of influence or serve the community." - Ivan Misner Founder of BNI
WHY DO YOU NEED TO NETWORK?
Continually connecting with quality people enables you to discover new opportunities that may not have been available before.
Networking yields the highest return on your marketing budget.
Relationships are still the key to both business and career success.
WHERE CAN I FIND THE BEST PLACES TO NETWORK?
The first critical action you need to take before your networking journey is to identify who it is you would like to meet and where you can find them. This will help you pinpoint the best places to network for you.
Ask Yourself: Describe the types of people you want to meet.
Ask Yourself: Where can you find and connect with them? Examples include industry professional body events, Meetups and Conferences.
Action: Find two meetups, conferences, or events to attend a week.
MISSION 1: BEFORE AN EVENT
Before an event, make sure to do your preparation as listed below.
Action: Leverage social media to learn about fellow attendees and build personal connections before the event.
Action: Prepare a 30-second personal introduction which entails a bit about you and what you do.
Action: Develop a S.M.A.R.T objective for the event.
Action: Research industry news and trends to talk about during conversations at the event.
MISSION 2: AT THE EVENT
It's time to shine! So show up early, be happy, enthusiastic and positive. People love a winning attitude!
Stand near the entrance early and at the end of the event, this way it allows you to meet as many people as possible.
Get familiar with people in the room. Target the key people you would like to meet.
Eat early; it's hard to eat and mingle.
Stay until the end: You will make more contacts the longer you stay.
MISSION 3: DURING INTERACTION
Establish connections and set appointments with people you can create a win-win situation.
Establish common interest ground by discovering what they do for work or personal interest, such what they do outside work.
Say the name of the person during the conversation. It will help you remember their name.
Write info about the person immediately on their business card or your phone.
In an event, it's best to split your interaction time between people you don't know for 75% of your time and 25% of your time for people you know. While interacting with people, make sure they fit the people that you want to interact with. It's important not to waste time.
MISSION 4: AFTER THE EVENT
Keep in touch with your contacts.
CONCLUSION Networking is still the most underestimated tool you can use for your career and business. It's a simple tool that yields powerful results if executed effectively.