Networking master 101
One of the best ways to become a hit at any networking event is to act as if you were the host.
By acting as a host I don’t mean that you run the event, I mean that you become a very good matchmaker. What this means is that as you meet people, ask them what type of person they would like to connect with that could assist them in their business.
As you move around the room introducing yourself to others, always be mindful of the people that you have met.
What will often happen is that a new connection you have just had a conversation with will be the right person to connect with somebody you engaged with earlier in the evening. When you bring these two people together you can often meet the needs of not just one but two different people who can create value for each other.
This is enormously helpful to all parties involved because many attendees at networking events don’t know most of the people in the room.
By assisting them in connecting with the right person you allow them to create a better result and a side benefit is that you are seen as an excellent connector, and these people will often go out of their way to help you find business as well.
One of the biggest mistakes we can make is not listening to the people we meet. What can happen and often does is that we miss-match one person with the next and this can backfire in so many ways.
Not only are you wasting their time, but your own reputation can suffer when you are not a good matchmaker.
A good way to overcome this is to always carry a pen with you and make a note of what you discussed on the back of their card.
When you meet someone who could be of interest to them you will easily remember the conversation you had and the details of the person that you would like them to connecting with.
As a matchmaker another responsibility is to engage people who are in fact not engaging with anyone. Go up to them, introduce yourself and find out what they do and then if you can, find out how you can help them.
You may have already spoken to just the person they need to connect with.
Remember the good Matchmaker is ultimately a good connector and when we make good connections we will always create great results, for ourselves as well is for others.
Isn’t it great that when you come back from a networking function, and you start to empty your pockets or your handbag you realise it’s about a kilo heavier than when you left for the meeting that morning.
The reason you are carrying this extra weight is because of all the business cards you have collected while you were networking. The problem is, what do you do with them all.
If you’re anything like me, and I know most of you are… somewhere on your desk is a very large pile of business cards that you have
collected over the last few weeks or months. And guys…. the girls are a lot neater than us because I can absolutely guarantee that most of their business cards have got an elastic band around them.
It’s hard to imagine how many trees have given up their lives for all the business cards that we have collected over the years. So
let’s do something about it and FINALLY create a follow-up system that can be simple and effective and allow us to generate some real
return on our networking investment.
Creating a simple and effective follow-up system is sometimes the hardest thing to do, because we are simply not used to reconnecting
with people on a regular basis.
I am the first to admit that I am very, very poor at this, even though I am well known for my networking abilities. These days I
have a small team behind me helping me out with things like following up new connections to create great results for their businesses as well is my own.
Here is a very simple system, but how you put this together is up to you:
1. Collect a business card/s
2. Send a note/e-mail/greeting card after the meeting and within 48 hours
3. Do not, under any circumstances promote your business. ONLY thank them for their time and the opportunity of meeting with you.
4. Schedule a one-to-one meeting
5. Ask them if you can add them to your newsletter campaign/ e-mail list so that you can stay in touch with them and offer them ongoing information.
This is a simple beginning point, as you build your connections into a meaningful relationships then there are many other ways
you can move that connection forward. But let’s start with this simple system first, which will get you started with a short simple and effective follow-up system to keep you in touch with all your new connections.
Good luck and try meetup.com for a good place to find local networking events.
Charles has been working as a webmaster since 1998. Since then, he has had his hands in thousands of websites and has helped millions get online through a company he partially owns called Web Host Pro.