At some point in time we’ve all have been disappointed or have experienced a moment where we thought we said and did all the right things, connected with all the right people, but the results were fruitless. There can be many reasons why you’re not making lasting connections or securing the profitable leads that you want. “Networking” is more than having a conversation with someone and exchanging contact information. While that may be a part of it, networking effectively involves so much more. Firstly, networking should be mutually beneficial for both you and the person you’re interacting with. I’ve noticed a lot of common mistakes and here’s how you can avoid them. Check out some of my tips below:
- The Elevator Pitch
An elevator pitch is a brief synopsis of your background that should spark further dialogue or interest. Creating and knowing your elevator pitch is very important when meeting potential partners, clients and sponsors. You should be able to confidently explain who you are, what it is you do, who you are looking to do business with, and why they should do business with you in under 30 seconds! An effective elevator pitch will have people wanting to know more about what it is you do and how to connect with you.
- Business Cards
Most successful professionals are extremely busy. Some of the best connections are made briefly in passing. So having you business cards readily available so someone can follow up with you is essential in networking effectively. They don’t have to be fancy or made out of 24k gold, but you should definitely have them. Your business cards should have your name, professional telephone number and email, along with your business social media accounts and website, if you have any. Remember, your business cards are not flyers! When giving out your business cards, you’re giving out direct access to you. So be sure to only give your business cards out to people whom you feel there will be a mutual benefit or that you can benefit from.
- Don’t Be A Kiosk Salesman.
You ever walk through the mall and see the people standing in the middle aisle at their booth, just waiting for you to get close enough, so they can get you to try their products? Yeah, don’t be them! No one wants to feel like they’re just a dollar sign and usually that will be a huge turn off. You don’t want to force your business down anyone’s throat. Your potential clients and business associates are not robots, so be engaging. Have a conversation and try to figure out what their needs are and how you can provide a solution.
- The Follow Up
Once you have made you connections it’s now time for the follow up. The follow up should happen within 24hrs to a week after the initial meeting. Remember, this is just a follow up to let them know that you enjoyed their conversation and that you may want to schedule a meeting or phone call in the future to re cap and pitch any ideas you have.
Lastly, remember that timing is everything. The key is to stay engaged and continue to nurture those relationships. When the right opportunity presents itself, it’ll be that much easier to reach out to those contacts, because you now have formed an authentic relationship.
Well I hope this helps. Be sure to leave your comments below and share this article!
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