Sep 15, 2010
Networking is about developing relationships. Sales are frequently developed through these relationships. Networking events provide the opportunity to expand your contact list and create and nurture quality relationships. Every networking event has the potential for new business leads, gaining business knowledge, gaining research, improving your business presentation, public speaking opportunities and valuable resources for yourself and your clients.
Think you don’t have time to network? Think again. By not consistently widening your circle of contacts and acquaintances, you may be limiting your chances for success. If, as it is said, that the average person knows 250 people, and each of these people know 250 other people and so on, this means for each person you meet, you gain access to a pool of thousands. So the odds are very slim that you would not find a person, who would be a source of information,
Try to focus on quality contacts versus quantity. My approach is to make between three to five new contacts at each event I attend. It takes time to build relationships with people. Meeting someone once is rarely enough to bring you business. On average people will need to connect with you 4-5 times before they see you as being trustworthy.
Keep your mind open to any possibilities. You may not walk away from an event with a string of new clients but the power of networking lingers on. I have had people contact me that I met more than 6 months earlier that had kept my details. This may just mean that they have no need for your services or products at that time. Also importantly, look beyond that person being a potential client, a good referral source is equally if not possibly more valuable. A good referral source is someone who interacts with your target market on a regular basis
Enjoy your networking experiences and you will gain a wealth of knowledge and experience.