Many entrepreneurs hate networking. As a result they hide behind their computers, feeling productive and hoping that their websites, social media, and e-mail will manage to make those essential connections – and sales – for them. For many types of businesses, however, networking is still an essential element of your marketing plan.
Colleen DeBaise from Entrepreneur Magazine offers a few tricks to make going to those meetings a bit less painful and a lot more productive.
Get there early. This helps you to meet people as they come in and increases the likelihood that you will connect with the one or two people that can evolve into potential business for you.
Don’t jump right in to business. – Make it your mission just to socialize and make connections. This takes the pressure off of you and keeps you from putting the pressure on others. Sales are much more likely to result from genuine connections that are not forced prematurely into marketing mode.
Remember to follow up. – If you have a good exchange with someone, ask them the best way to keep in touch and then make sure to follow up. One of our clients tripled her business in a few months simply by following up and booking coffee appointments with people she connected with at networking functions within a few days after the event.
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