MINGLE WITH THE BEST OF THEM
Expand your networking activities and make more quality connections by utilizing these strategies.
Get Involved In Groups Online and Offline: Join your local chamber of commerce and participate in its events. Be part of a local networking group, such as a BNI chapter. Engage with an industry-specific networking group, a move that can lead to partnerships that help your business. Consider starting your own networking group; begin by inviting several friends to a get-together. Have them invite several friends.
Additionally, network from the comfort of your computer. Join and/or create groups on LinkedIn and Facebook. Your web of contacts – and clients – will grow if you do.
Accelerate Your Altruism: Volunteer at nonprofit organizations and/or community outreach events whose missions are close to your heart. You'll meet other people passionate about the cause. This shared passion will make connecting with new individuals much easier. Chances are you'll meet someone who can use your services or who can refer you to a prospect that needs branded merchandise.
Coach: Coaching youth or high school sports is an excellent way to meet people from a cross-section of your community. Do a good job, and you'll shine in a positive light before prospects that range from teachers, school athletic directors and youth league administrators to local parents who own businesses or are involved with – or know someone who is involved with –procuring logoed products for a company.
Try A Meet-Up: Use www.meetup.com to connect with local people whose interests align with your own. Sign up at the site and type in topics you like. Up will pop groups in your area that are engaged in those interests and activities. Attend the group meet-ups. You'll make new friends that could ultimately become clients or refer you to potential customers.
Leverage Your Existing Network: Friends, family, colleagues, clients – you already know a lot of people. Reconnect with some you haven't touched based with in a while. As you get reacquainted over lunch or another social event, subtly direct the discussion to business with a mind to see if they or someone they know could benefit from your creative solutions.
When networking, you should…
…Have a good attitude. If you label networking an awkward chore, it will be. Instead, strive to see it as a fun opportunity
to meet great new people that you can help with your branding expertise.
…Have quality business cards at the ready. Don't forget to give them out!
…Have an elevator pitch memorized so perfectly that you can speak it in a natural, conversational tone.
…Have a couple conversation starters prepared. Avoid hot-button topics like politics.
…Have several subtle questions prepared that will enable you to preliminarily qualify people you meet as strong prospects.
…Show interest for the people with whom you interact. Ask questions, listen to answers and offer thoughtful comments.
…Be respectful. Eschew pushiness and treat people you meet with class.
…Follow up. Seek to schedule specific times to check in with new contacts, starting with the hottest leads first.
Watch This Video where Kathryn Minshew, founder and CEO of a career kickstarter website called The Muse, delivers her best networking tips. http://goo.gl/cFdCCI
How To Be A Power Connector by Judy Robinett
❑ Participate in a new networking opportunity within the next two weeks.
❑ Identify where your networking skills can be enhanced and make the improvements.