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  • Top Networking Tips #17 & 18

    To ensure you get the most from your networking experiences, that is you  grow your business, it is important that you assess why you are networking in the first place.  Are you there to sprout your stuff to a captive audience and hope they do business with you, or do you go with the intent to learn, contribute, connect and promote  yourself and others?

    Networking is one of the oldest, cheapest and enjoyable marketing forms. Where else can you get all your needs met- emtionally, physically, spiritually and professionally? For networking to work for you and not the other way around it is important that you determine why you are there, what you hope to get out of it and what you are prepared to do for others.

    Networking is about sharing information, ideas, advice and contacts and contributing to others. Done well you are can Grow your network as you grow others. Think about this… each networking event you attend allows you the opportunity to;

    • promote your business to a captive audience,
    • discover and learn new ideas and concepts that could grow your business,
    • access new clients
    • make new friends
    • create strategic alliances or what I call “profitable partnerships”
    • add to your current database
    • gain some great feedback and contribution from others

    If you take the focus off you and what you are going to gain from networking and instead direct your authentic attention intention to contribute to and support others toward their success, guess what…. the results and benefits for you will be phenomenal! Trust me, I see this at every event I host.

    So how do you get more from your networking experiences? By connecting consciously with the other business owners. After all they are entrepreneurs just like you, paving the way, creating a new path and sharing their unique skills because they love what they do and want to share it with the world. Don’t you?

    I know it can feel daunting to arrive at a networking event alone and unsure of what to do next. But the best way to beat that fear is to embrace it and act on it. Use the little bit of nervous energy to spur you forward to meet new people. They cannot help you to grow your business if they don’t k now who you are or what you do. Everyone seeks a connection with others before they trust them, they sniff them out so to speak. Believe me everyone at that networking event shares the same thrill and fear of networking that you do, you just need to get out there and start creating interesting conversations. 

    Be natural, be friendly, don’t treat others like strangers but  like friends that you haven’t met yet. Ask leading questions, show your interest and for goodness sake be interested! If you are not they are going to feel your lack of authenticity and dismiss you immediately. Is that your purpose in attending networking events, so that you can be easily forgotten? I don’t think so.

    Share your story with them, the relevant parts, and seek to find a common awareness, situation or experience that you may have. These days it is not uncommon at all to meet someone and realise within minutes that you know someone in common, went to the same school or have met before.  Keep asking questions until you find that.

    Networking doesn’t have to be all about business, those important initial meetings need to be founded on trust and interest in each other, a feeling of curiousity  about where that connection could lead. To a strong friendship, a client relationship or a business partnership. You just never know, so dont’ miss the opportunity to grow your business, attract new clients and make new friends just because you don’t know any one at the event.

    Remember this, when you attend a networking event it is not just you meeting a room full of people, it is your network meeting their network. So even if they are not your ideal client, they know your ideal client.  They live with them, work with them,play sport with them or live in the same neighbourhood.

    Next time you are at networking event keep that in mind and start recognising networking as the strong and powerful marketing tool it really is.

    Happy connecting

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    xNatalie

     

     

    Published on July 26, 2011 · Filed under: Events, Networking;
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