When starting a new small business, it is imperative that you consider business networking into the major part of your marketing plans.
1. Business Networking means getting comfortable with the “what do you do” question. You will be asked this many times!
2. Business Networking means you need a 30 second “elevator speech” when someone asks you the “what do you do” question. This is a quick, sometimes witty, 30 second advertisement and summary of what you do that will catch someone’s attention and invite them to ask you more about what you do.
3. Business Networking means you need to have an “open personality” that makes it easy to approach you and start a conversation. This involves not having “closed” body language – crossed arms, a scowl (some of you need to work on this!), and not facing people. When engaged in a conversation with someone, you should be mimicking their body language and motions as that will make them more comfortable conversing with you.
4. Business Networking means you are a master at remembering peoples names. As Zig Ziglar taught – the most beautiful word to a person is their own name! Be impressive – remember their name.
5. Business Networking means you make and keep scrupulous notes! If you are at a networking event, or if you are in a sales office and talking with several people, it is imperative that you immediately take some notes down immediately after the conversation and write down their name (if they did not give you a business card) – and/or info you learned about them during the conversation on the back of their card – where they are from, are they married?, kids?, schooling? Sports and sports teams they are interested in, etc.
6. Business Networking means when you get home – you update your client database with their info and make detailed notes about where you met them, what the occasion was, etc. Then write down all the information that you learned about them. WHY? When you talk to them again, you can look at your notes in your system and remember that they like the Tennessee Titans (who just made a great draft pick) and you can make mention of this. Remembering details like this or about their kids or family makes a great impression and allows a much deeper connection. Be impressive – remember details! People like it!
6.5 Business Networking mean that about 4-5 days after you meet someone, send them a nice handwritten card or “BOB BURG**” card touching base with them and reminding them of who you are and that you enjoyed the conversation. Invite them to connect with you on social media. (Only use one social media for this invitation – like Twitter or LinkedIn). Write something in the card that was interesting during your conversation – “how did your daughter do in the regional swim meet?” THIS will make another great impression!
What I need from you:
- How do you network?
- What are some of the tricks that you use?