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5 Keys to Effective Networking at Events
Today we are going to talk about the effective networking at events. Cold contact is a way to start business relationships with our potential customers. However, this way of proceeding to get customers by the sales team continues to lose effectiveness.
In a increasingly competitive marketwith consumers who are increasingly more expert and informed, who have often already tried several similar or substitute products to ours, and are frustrated by unfulfilled expectations, the success of the cold door depends on the entire marketing orchestra supporting commercial action go very fine.
Social networks are one of the best tools to reach your specific target and publicize your brand, product or service. However, one of the best practices to grow your contact portfolio and strengthen your personal or business brand is through networking , a "face to face" contact.
Networking an effective alternative to cold contact
But many companies forget that at the moment marketing actions, brand reinforcement, and its alignment with commercial actions, are what make sales efforts effective.
Building trust requires more and more effort. In this context, the different modalities of networking appear as an alternative to cold contact, generating what we could call a warm environment for the beginning of business relationships, much more effective than mere cold contact. Of course its applicability depends a lot on the type of product we sell.
Since we already know that cold contact has increasingly low success rates and requires significant additional efforts, we can set ourselves the goal of replacing it as much as possible with other commercial actions.
I know that making conversation with a stranger can be overwhelming for many, but don't worry, you don't need to be the most sociable or nicest person in the room. It is about having a good topic of conversation to capture the attention of others. Talk to strategic people. Remember that you have to aim for the stars to reach the moon.
Today I focus on other types of events such as presentations, conferences, breakfasts, lunches, etc. that are not organized with a structure to engage in conversation with a large number of companies. In these cases it may cost us a little more to connect.
6 keys to start business relationships at events
Obviously I'm not going to start handing out my cards like they were candy (although I've been embarrassed to see them do this). So I will have more modest goals in number, but not necessarily in quality.
But… let's go back to the main topic, how to strengthen your networking technique? In this article I will give you some tips to create connections of interest in your next event or conversation with potential clients.
1. Focus on the right people and events
The secret to networking is not going to an event and handing out as many business cards as you can. This is already in the past. Rather, what you need to focus on is the people you know will make a difference in your career, so it's extremely important that you research the following beforehand: event topics and event attendees/speakers (directors , managers, brands, etc.) of your interest.
Make sure the events you attend are relevant to your industry or according to the type of connections that are relevant to your business.
2. Create a comfortable environment
Find the right moment for your first "approach", avoid interrupting calls or conversations. If you have a common contact, ask for a discreet introduction. Do you remember when you asked your school friend to approach a girl/boy for you to tell her that you liked her? That same feeling of discomfort can cause if your connector is the one who speaks in your place. Let that person be the one to start the conversation, but you to continue and guide it. Approach safely and create a relaxed and comfortable conversation.
3. Give before receiving
In networking situations, people expect you to ask them for help. This happens ALL the time. But, if you instead turn that around and simply offer some support, your lead will be grateful and want to return the favor in the future.
4. Become a connector
It is important to know that winning in a networking relationship is not only about you making contacts, but about helping others to do so. You can become a “connector” and introduce people who will mutually benefit. This will be a future profit for you too.
5. Remember to reconnect
Days after the event (not months or years, days!), contact those people who have been of interest to your sector, remind them of you and the topics that were discussed at the event; resume those conversations of mutual interest and see strengthening the relationship. In this way, these new contacts will keep you in mind for future events or projects.
6. Create a community
The social networks LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are tools that you can use to connect personally with different leaders in your sector. On LinkedIn, for example, you can meet new contacts through your current connections. You can also use this network as a professional database to find people who work in your sector.
1.- Have your speech prepared, your elevator pitch well polished; you can use the AIDA technique to build it.
2.- Keep in mind a goal for the number of people you want to meet. In these cases, with 2 or 3 good contacts, I'm already happy.
3.- Arrive a little early and introduce yourself to the person sitting to your left. Surely he would appreciate a little conversation. Also, since she's already sitting down, she can't get away that easily.
4.- Look for events in which the speakers are people you are interested in meeting. A speaker is always friendly and will surely exchange his business card with you.
5.- To meet the speaker you have 2 options, prepare at the end of the presentation and try to be the first to speak with him, or queue. Queuing is not bad, quite the opposite, you can take the opportunity to contact those who are waiting with you, they will be happy to chat for a while instead of waiting getting bored.
6:- If more than one person from the same company attends, the best thing they can do is separate and try to meet more people. This may seem very obvious, but it is quite common among entrepreneurs that when they attend a meeting where they do not know anyone, they do not leave to feel less "lost", but in this way they lose opportunities to interact with more people.
What do you think, do you think they can work for you? Do you use any other more elegant tricks? Please leave us your comments below.