Why attend professional networking events?
Many small business owners have never attended a networking event and feel intimated about attending or don’t understand what they would gain from attending.
As per my Attending Networking Events blog there are many reasons why one should attend networking events, but one of the most compelling reasons is that it is a great opportunity to meet potential new clients and referrers. There isn’t any predictability to how many leads you will receive from an event, however, by being friendly, happy to give useful information and showing a positive face to your business you may surprised to how many opportunities can present themselves.
In the early days of our practice over 50% of our new clients came via networking, through formal events and ad hoc meetings. Now the percentage is lower due to the major increase in client referrals, however, networking is still an important element of finding new clients.
The results speak for themselves, networking does work, but it won’t unless you approach it in the right way.
- Go in the right frame of mind, you need to be chatty but also willing to listen.
- Identify who you would like to meet at the event and talk to them.
- Try to develop a rapport with likely prospects; don’t pass your business card straight away, ask them questions and get to know them a little.
- People like to be listened to, remember you have one mouth for speaking and two ears for listening, try to speak and listen in the same ratio.
- Present your business in the right way. If you are a professional, as suit may be appropriate, if you are a tradesman, you may prefer to be a bit more casual perhaps a smart jumper with business logo.
- Find the event that suits you, and try it a few times, so that you develop a relationship with the regulars and will feel more comfortable.
- Be friendly, people want to do with business with people that they like.
Our Quarterly Business Networking Events
I think it is important for my clients to try networking and see if it can help their businesses to grow. With this in mind we will continue to organise quarterly networking meetings, as a good, friendly, informal introduction to networking, and our next one will be FREE, so no excuse not to come!
Check out our events page for details of when and where the next networking event is being held.