How to Get Better Results From Your Networking Efforts

Do you attend networking events?

If so, you probably remember events where you felt you were wasting your time, when you went home promising yourself that “you’d never do that again” until of course the next time when you found yourself at another event.

Sound familiar? I thought so.

It behooves all of us for whom networking plays an important role in our business development efforts to enhance our networking skills so that our networking time is fruitful and consistently used to its best advantage.

Of course there are no guarantees but these three tips can help make your networking efforts more productive:

Be friendly and approachable.

Remember that everyone is attending the event for the same reason hoping to make new contacts and perhaps reconnect with old acquaintances as well. Be comfortable, relaxed and make eye contact with your fellow networkers. Expect to engage in conversation and plan how you will respond to questions about your business as well as the types of questions you will ask the other attendees. Smile sincerely and refrain from wasting precious time looking at your phone rather than interacting with the people in the room!

Define what success means to you.

How do you define a successful networking event? Is it because you met a new prospect or perhaps connected with a dormant account? For me it’s more about the quality of networkers at the event and if we might be good referral sources for each other. I tend to go into each event with a plan and work hard throughout the event to make certain that I don’t fall short of the goal I set for myself. You are more certain to have a successful experience if you know your objectives and what you are working towards.

Work the room.

Networking, like much of sales, is a numbers game. You have a limited number of hours to make the maximum number of substantive contacts. Learn how to politely disengage and follow up after the event with the contacts you have made. Don’t trust your memory and instead jot down notes on the backs of cards or in your phone so that your follow-ups will be personal and meaningful.

By consistently doing these three things you will start to recognize more positive results from your networking.

And really who doesn’t want that?

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