7 Face-To-Face Networking Tips

Article by Rebecca Mason 23.09.14 

Networking is not just about gaining more business contracts; it’s about sharing knowledge, building relationships, giving and receiving recommendations and giving support to other businesses.  Remember, effective business networking is about linking together businessesthrough trust and relationship building so they all become walking, talking advertisements for one another.

So, how do you get it right?  Here are my 7 tips:

 

1. Know what your goals are in participating in networking groups.  This ensures you will pick the networking groups which will help you get what you are looking for, may it be new customers, or, a new supplier.  Remember, some meetings are based more on learning, making contacts, and/or volunteering rather than on strictly making business connections.
 2. Visit different networking groups and then become a regular of the ones which suit.  Not all networking groups are the same, they vary on formality, cost, types of businesses attending etc.  By trying different networking groups, you can join the ones which suit you and your business, allowing your business to grow in the right direction.  Remember, if you have to become a member of a networking group, many will allow you to visit before joining.  
3. Be the solution.  Before attending a networking meeting, make sure you are clear about what you do and why, for whom, and what makes you different from other businesses.  Make sure you can articulate this easily in a “60 seconds/elevator pitch”, or, briefly in an informal setting.  Ensure you are telling businesses the problems you can solve for them.  
4. Be authentic and build relationships, rather than sell, sell, sell.  Through sharing knowledge, building trust and relationshipswith other businesses you will become known as the person to contact for the service(s) you have on offer.
5. Ask open-ended questions in networking conversations.  This form of questioning opens up the discussion and shows listeners that you are interested in them.
6. Have your business cards/flyers to hand.  Also, remember to pick up other businesses cards/flyer as well, so you can follow up on any potential leads.
    7. Follow up.  Always send a personalised email, or, make a phone call within 24-48 hours of attending a networking meeting with a potential customer/supplier.  It provides an opportunity to maintain contact with the business and to arrange a meeting to discuss how you can do business together in the future. Furthermore, follow those businesses you meet at a networking group on the appropriate social media platform 

Remember, networking is a slow process; it takes time to build trust with other businesses. For further advice on networking, or, how to combine this with social media, please feel free to contact me rebecca.troubleshooter@gmail.com07531051264.

 

Written by Rebecca Mason, Owner of RM Troubleshooter.

 

 

 

Are You Or Someone You Know Looking To Improve Their 60 Seconds Presentation?

Article by Ernie Boxall 23.08.15
If you have a business, or even an idea of a business it is worthless. Unless somebody else knows about it too.
 
 It could be the greatest idea of all time or just a business that you’ve undertaken part time to increase your income, the same thing applies. Unless somebody else knows about it you could work 90 hours a week and end up broke. YOU WILL END UP BROKE… 
 Who’s This Facilitation For?: I guess the people who’ll get the most from this will have a business, a skill that you believe will take you out of the dreaded “rat race.” A skill that will allow you to become a success at a business that you enjoy, and that eventually can be passed on for your benefit or for the benefit of your children. 

 You’ll have a dream and a skill..it’s just that the skill isn’t public speaking. 
For you the 60 Seconds might just as well be 60 minutes or 60 days, either way it’s a sentence. A sentence that according to Andy LaPata and Peter Roper is feared more than death.(see “…and death came third!” By taking some of this in; and by taking action we could just change that… 

 60 Second Presentations are all about loving your business. About having the pure energy and balls to stand up and tell people time and time again about what you do and why they should listen to you. Why they should talk to you and, ultimately Why They Should Buy From You–

 It should be rehearsed so much that it becomes natural, it should be honed to such an extent that when the occasion arrives that Tony tells you that so many people have turned up the presentations will need to be cut to 45 seconds..it presents no problem.

 “60 Seconds To Make Your Mark” Your verbal business card and how it can make or break you. 

 “We are going into your 60 second slots, who will go first?” 
I’ve seen those eleven words turn business people grey with fear. Business people who have taken the trouble to get up at five thirty in the morning and driven twenty miles or more,who have already stood at the coffee table and talked to other members are suddenly stuck in their seats and looking down nervously,their chance to promote their business to thirty or forty colleagues and they are frozen… 

At least once a week you have the chance to inform the rest of the group, the rest of your “sales team” on which sector of business you are looking to influence at the moment. You are asking them to identify good prospects for you, to keep you in mind at all times, ask the right questions to get you an introduction to speak to a new client. You have the chance to talk to the one person who can make all the difference to your future. But..YOU have got to do the work…….


Lets look at the Introduction..and The opportunities I have seen missed by many Business Owners.

This is where YOU tell everyone Who You Are: Where You Are:What You Do
  • Don’t start telling us who you are while you’re walking up,.. 
  • Don’t just tell us your first name..how are people going to recommend “Ernie” err Ernie Who? 
  • Don’t tell anyone that this is the first time you’ve ever done this because it shouldn’t make a difference.
  • Don’t start with a whimper..a whisper here shows lack of confidence. Be confident.. 
  • Don’t have your back to anyone: I saw this recently and the table behind the speaker switched off immediately..MOVE..Most clubs won’t start your 60 seconds until you’ve stood your ground. 

Do let everyone believe you are confident and a success even if you’re not..Make sure everyone has heard your name and remembers it.

Do tell people where you work from… time and time again and the members will remember you” 
Because unless we slip up as a company, unless we under deliver on our promises then no one will have cause to think otherwise. 

“But,I’m not a confident person” you say My answer…ACT Become a character..an actor..act. complete with clothing, voice and persona.

So.. It’s your turn..

 You stand up and walk to where everyone can see you
..Scan the room for a second to grab attention and to compose yourself..
Then you stand slumped to one side, hands in pockets and talking to the first row. 

 ACT..PROJECT..remember for 60 seconds,the audience may not seeing the real you. So, if you’re nervous..your character’s not. If you’re confident then it is YOU. 

 This is where we get the umm, errs, this is where we learn whether err or not you have taken my advice and erm practised your 60 Seconds..This is where err the group can wander off into their err own world.

 And,because this is your Story you must become a story teller.    Has anyone conquered this?  Has anyone come close to drawing anticipation as an owner standing before us.

 Poor Delivery: Goes hand in hand with the above,but is to me is one of the major killers of your sales pitch.

So once again “Do You or Someone You Know Want to Improve Their 60 Second Presentations”