I’m a huge advocate for networking and love to think of myself as a ‘Connector’ of people. I have been networking for over 3 years now as well as being one of the organisers of the Grantham Women in Business monthly meetings and have gained lots of fantastic contacts and friends too during those years. I love putting new businesses I meet in touch with other professional businesses that I know and trust and hooking them up. Hopefully they then will return the favour one day.
The power of networking is not to be underestimated and is a fabulous way of building your business network. With so many networking events to choose from in the local area, we have no excuse to get out and meet local business people and make great connections and new friends. If networking isn’t already part of your marketing strategy, then make sure it becomes one of your marketing tools. Building good relationships is vital in business and getting yourself out there in front of people is so much more valuable than paying for some advertising which may or may not hit the right audience.
Some individuals do find it quite difficult to stand up in a room of strangers and do their 1 minute introduction (elevator pitch) so make sure you practice with your family and friends first before venturing out so you can master what you want to say;
Here’s what you need to tell people in the room:
- Your name
- Your business name
- What your business does
- How you help businesses/What problem you solve?
- Any current promotions
- Reminder of who you are.
Here’s some of our top tips to help you on your way…
- Ensure you have mastered your Elevator Pitch
- Don’t forget your business cards & other marketing materials
- Remember to smile at people and make a good first impression
- Find new people to talk to, don’t always stay with the people you already know!
- Maintain eye contact and always be polite
- Ask questions, listen and be interested in what they do, find common ground
- Exchange business cards – you never know when you may need their services or can recommend one of your clients to them
- Arrange a coffee and cake with the people who you see some synergy with
- Add all your new contacts to your database and hook up with them on Linked-In
- Be prepared! One of the most common things I see at networking events is that individuals don’t have business cards! This really is a school boy/girl error and needs to be avoided as it really doesn’t make a great first impression of your business. It looks like you are disorganised and unprepared. If you’re looking to have some business cards or marketing materials designed and printed, Queen Bee & Co can assist you with your requirements, so feel free to get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
- And most importantly be natural and be yourself – remember people buy from people.
Here’s some of my favourite local networking groups:
Grantham Women in Business – Facebook ‘Grantham Women in Business’ (I am biased with this one as I am one of the organisers!)
The Development Partner Network – thedevelopmentpartnernetwork.com
Talk Networking – talknetworking.co.uk
Grantham Business Club – granthambusinessclub.com
MIBA – Facebook ‘MIBA Networking Nottinghamshire’
I wish you the very best of luck with your networking experiences and don’t be scared about attending your first meeting. We’re only human and you won’t look back – believe me!
#Networking #Marketingstrategy #Marketingtool #Growyourbusiness