Networking is an excellent way to build brand awareness. The most successful businesses started small, and grew by generating a reputable brand name. Networking is a tool that will build relationships, which will propel your company to the next level. There are countless tips out there that are suggested you follow when networking, but seven that will make all the difference in the world. Follow these seven guidelines and you will master the art of networking:
1) Know Your Company’s Who, What & Why
Before you or your employees can productively interact at a networking event, you must know what your business does and stands for. Instinctively knowing who your target is, what you can offer them, and why you do what you do, immensely improves your networking skills and comfortability. You have to know what you do and why you do it before delivering your message to others.
2) Attend Events with Your Target Audience
Time is money. Don’t waste money or time by attending events that won’t drive business. At the end of the day, you want to walk away from an event with the hope of developing new business. Relationships are built through these events, and money is earned through relationships, not only for you, but the people you do business with. Everybody wins when a deal gets done.
3) Scatter Team Members while at an Event
The goal of networking is to develop new relationships. Having more than one team member at the same event is great, but shouldn’t consist of building new relationships as a group. Scatter your team members. This increases your chance to drive business with multiple parties. You can then regroup afterwards, hopefully having numerous leads that will turn into clientele.
Don’t be afraid to make the first move. Remember, everyone is there to network. Approach your target, introducing yourself and your company, and the rest will take care of itself.
5) Listen First
Listen to what others have to say before rambling on about your product or service. Be polite and take interest in their offerings. Once they are finished, transition into explaining how you can help them, and vice versa. Show an authentic interest in the other individual and what they do.
6) Ditch the Sales Pitch
Be conversational. Don’t look at this as strictly an opportunity to sell. Build the relationship first, sell later. Very rarely will a company give you the time of day if they don’t have a good first impression of you or your brand. Let them know you are a person who wants to help them, not just a money hungry company looking to make a few bucks.
This is the most important of the seven tips. Following-up is the time to get down to business. After you have built the relationship, let them know exactly what you can do for them. This lets them know you are sincere and interested in doing what is best for both your team and theirs.
Networking isn’t a task, but an opportunity. Use these seven tips to build relationships and ultimately drive business. For more information regarding brand awareness, do not hesitate to contact the Fallston Group at 410.420.2001 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.