Love it or hate it, networking is THE best way to attract new business.
If your networking activities aren’t delivering the results you’re looking for, consider these three tactics:
1. Collect resources, not cards; look for suppliers, not prospects. Consider the hub of a wheel with its many spoke-like contacts. It’s not about me; IT IS about YOU. YOU are the person in the conversation who might have a problem with your landlord. Maybe you know a lawyer or mediator who can help. YOU are the new contact who is a bookkeeper and works with app developers, like your cousin. Establish a connection between this person as a resource and someone who would benefit from such an experience.
2. Participate in pre-event marketing to create a welcoming committee. Before attending a networking cocktail party hosted by an industry group, chamber of commerce, or professional membership organization, visit the host’s website. Make a list of officers and committee chairs; locate their email addresses. Send everyone a note a week before the event indicating your interest in joining the group. When they respond to your email (or LinkedIn connection request), indicate that you’ll be wearing a green tie (male) or a red jacket (female), so they can meet each other in the crowded room. At the event, learn as much as you can about the organization and why they joined. Ask to be introduced to another officer. Work the room to meet many of the leaders on your list. With this welcoming committee approach, you go from being a bystander to an insider.
3. Ask questions about problems and solutions. In the conversation, find out the kinds of problems and situations the new contact is facing and learn how they approach and solve these problems. Asking what the highlight of the year (or quarter) was working with your clients gives the respondent an opportunity to brag about their success. People are always itching to talk about themselves and they don’t get a chance to do it often enough. You will also learn how the person could be aligned with your contacts as a solution provider or for future collaborations.
For a more in-depth discussion, pick up a copy of my eBook Three Lessons for Improving Your Network Success here http://bit.ly/2EIkoTF, or invite me to lead a workshop at your business, organization, or networking group at New York City area, or by webinar.