1/ Ditch The Pitch - Many people approach networking events like everyone is a prospect for what they do. So they develop a well rehearsed pitch and go around giving it to everyone. They launch into their sales pitch at every opportunity. The problem with this approach is that instead of leading people to want to do business with you it will push people away.
2/ Select The Right Events - Not every networking event is going to be the right one for you. You want to find events where there is either your target market ... or potential JV partners. Finding either at a networking event would be a good outcome. So how do you find the right events? One of the best ways is to subscribe to a comprehensive networking directory. In Australia we are fortunate to have Networking World which lists all of the networking events happening around town each month. It is a great resource to locate suitable events.
3/Open Mind - When attending networking events and meeting new people it is critical to keep an open mind. You might meet someone who are not a prospective client of JV partner and think that is where the relationship ends. My belief is it is critical to keep an open mind as each person you meet probably knows anywhere from 100 to 500 other people. Within their networks is probably lots of potential clients and JV partners. So keep an open mind with everyone you meet.
4/Follow Up - Follow up is a key to achieveing results from networking. If you do not follow up then chances are good your networking efforts will not amount to much. With effective follow up though you can achieve great results. I always make a point to follow up by sending a Thank You card to everyone. Often I have sent my products to people I have just met as a gift. You could send products such as CD programs. This is certainly one way of becoming memorable and standing out from everyone else they met at the event.
If you implement these five keys to more effective networking then you can easily build a successful business from just attending a networking event each week
Ps your personality is an extremely valuable asset, be yourself.
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