Here are some top networking tips to get you ready for your first local networking event:
- Look around your area and see what Networking Groups are available, BNI can be $2000 to join and want you to bring others so be careful, Chamber of Commerce (you can register with these) are linked to councils and can be good.
- Talk to your clients and other business people to see if they do networking and where they go?
- Have your spiel organised… ”Hi my name is Donna from Top Snap” list out your points of difference, if talking to a group: keep it short and effective, try to make them laugh, think of some high lights of your week e.g shooting Nicole Kidman’s house, the amazing pole shot showing blah blah, new technology Top Snap have introduced.
- It is really good to have a networking buddy as your go to in the room full of strangers so if you know of another person starting up in the area team up and do the networking rounds.
- There are often a lot of one off events to launch magazines, new product of businesses in your area, go to these as you are not locked in and will meet new business people get to hand out your cards and chat, often they are free too!
- Remember you do not have to join first thing, feel your way around the group before you commit.
- Always dress in branded uniform and or have your name badge on, they often give you one but instead make sure to market your own brand.
- Giveaways – Take some small note pads, pens, squeeze cameras etc. and ask the host if you can put these out at the place settings for the others there, also always have brochures on hand as they often have a table to put these, and you may get asked for them.
- Always have a pen on you and pockets, purse stuffed with business cards to hand out.
- LISTEN, ASK QUESTIONS, ASK for their business card!
- Always be positive and never say negative things!
- Work the room, make yourself move around and keep the conversation interesting, excuse yourself to the bathroom if you are trapped with a bore!
- Later that night make a personal note on each card you have collected so you remember them, throw out never to be used and save the maybes in a card file.
- Identify the ones you need to stay in touch with and that week contact the people that may want to use your services or you there’s and have a catch up cup of coffee.
By Donna Earley, Top Snap Sunshine Coast