“It should be your goal not to meet the most people as possible, but to understand who else is connected to whom and what the rest of the network looks like.”
Business networking is the process of establishing a mutually beneficial relationship with other business people and potential clients and/or customers. The primary purpose of business networking is to find out about other businesses and how you could help them in your network or your business and hopefully developing a relationship with a new client, or develop over time, as in learning a new business skill.
Few networking facts:
60% success rate depends on talking to people you know!
Over 80% of new business are through networking
Most business referrals come from Six degrees of separation (All people are six, or fewer, social connections away from each other.
Over 25% do not network at all
Over 70% of professionals value face-to-face networking more than online
Approximately %90 of people say small meetings are their favorite communication method
Nearly 100% of people say face-to-face meetings are essential for long-term business relationships
For every dollar companies invest in travel, they receive $12.50 in value
The close rate for in-person meetings is 40%
The average company would lose 17% of its profits if it eliminated business travel
Have plenty of business cards
Have your elevator speech ready (17 Sec. Commercial)
Make sure you have strong achievement history in 90 sec. (Maybe 3 bullets)
Be ready to offer help
Clean up social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, …)
Create company profile in LinkedIn, Facebook…
If you are not in LinkedIn, here are some steps to join
Create a comprehensive (Just enough to get others interested)
Invite people to join your network
Ask for recommendations
Search the company or persons in LinkedIn
Join groups on LinkedIn
Be proactive and approach potential networking contacts
Check out applications, accounts and settings
Make LinkedIn a key part of your ongoing networking strategy
At the Networking event
Resist the urge to arrive late
Do not stand in the entrance of a networking event to meet people
DON’T stand where people exit with food.
Drop the sales pitch (It is all about relationship building)
Get to know your audience (Don't take over the conversation)
Use head tilt to let them know you are listening
Ask easy questions about their products and services
What motivates this person?
What is important to them?
What energizes them?
What do they love to talk about?
What shuts them down or closes them off?
What do they value?
Follow up with comments to make sure you understood all they do
Find out how you can help them (“The more people you help, the more help you’ll have and the more help you’ll have helping others.” – Never Eat Alone
Mentally check your contact lists to refer others to them
Always Introduce Your Network to Each Other
Get contact information (Business card or Electronic Vcard)
Find out what ideas they have for you
Find out if they have any referrals for you to talk to
Seal A Connection With the Perfect Handshake
After Networking Event
Research the company or the individual ( LinkedIn, Business Journal, Google, Yalp, Bing, chamber of commerce…)
Follow up within 24 hours.
Mention a conversation from the event
Offer to help
Align strengths & skills to company goals & initiatives
Follow up with LinkedIn connection
Set up one on one meeting
Edit, Verify, confirm, edit