Sunday, November 17th, 2019

“Thought” full Networking

By Cathy Kuzel on Dec 03 2009 • Filed under The Connected Woman

Networking is essential to the growth of your business.  

Once you accept that fact, the question is, how do you connect with the ‘right’ people? Since many decision makers rarely attend local networking events, how do you build rapport with them if they’re not there?  

You can keep attending the many events around town, sampling the food, balancing the wine glass, exchanging business cards and in general, having a pleasant time or you can put some thought into this process and to use a well-worn phrase: “Work smarter not harder.” 

1. Clarify your target market and value proposition

It's quite likely that your product or service fits better in certain companies than others. That's an important thing for people to know or else they'll try to connect you with the wrong people.   

Practice and perfect your 20 second “elevator speech” or “infomercial.” Be able to articulate your value proposition – the benefit of doing business with you.  What are people struggling with? When you focus on those areas where you can make a difference, your success at networking multiplies.  

2. Focus , focus, FOCUS!

Before you attend your next networking event, think about who you'd like to meet. What company are they with? What’s their position? What challenges are they facing? Will someone you know be at the event to make an introduction? Be willing to state exactly what and who you're looking for. 

3. They’re right under your nose!

Who have you met? Are they connected to the people you would like to meet? 

Too many times the people right in front of you are dismissed because there isn’t a direct match with your ‘offering’ and their ‘needs.’ Oops!

Referrals are the key to opening doors to companies that you want to do business with.

Most people hesitate to ask for the introduction. They assume their contacts wouldn't want to be bothered or they don’t want to bother them.  Six Degrees of Separation – it’s a fact! 

4. Be a connector, not a collector.

To be successful at networking, you have to be willing to help the other person. You’ve got to give to get. The Law of Reciprocity states, “people want to help others who help them.” Next time you meet someone, don’t just collect their business card, find out what makes them tick.  

It could be that you know of the perfect house cleaner and they need one. It has nothing to do with either of your businesses, but you’ve just formed that fabulous connection and now you will be remembered. That's right. You have to pay it forward in networking. It doesn't have to be a huge payment, just something that shows you’ve got their interests in mind.  

5. Go where they go.

Still not connecting? If you’re not meeting the right people it doesn’t mean that you’re not doing it right – you’re just not in the right place. If the decision makers aren't where you are, go where they are. Conferences and trade shows in their specific markets/industry are the best bets. Not sure which ones? Call the administrative assistant and ask their opinion on which events they feel are worthwhile; this person is always a wealth of knowledge. Networking with the gate keeper is important in an environment that pays for not what you know but who you know and who knows you! 

To be successful at networking, you have to be smart about it. Hoping and wishing to connect with your ideal client ‘this time’ won’t cut it. Instead, put your brain to work and put some thoughtful purpose into your networking. You’ll be amazed at the results!


1 Comment

  1. Cathy,

    Thanks for the Networking info.
    Much appreciated.
    I am looking forward to my first event with THE CONNECTED WOMAN on December 15th.

    Sincerely,

    Satu Bell
    VODA Design Ltd.

    P.S I like your ” Keywords ” wine glass … you sure don’t miss a thing!

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