1. Meet People.
It sounds obvious but many business people are too shy to get out from behind their desks and venture into a business networking space for the first time. If this is you, bring some friends along and be courageous together. It gets easier every time and remember – we’ve all made mistakes!
2. Collect Every Business Card.
Once they’re in your hot little hands, write on it the date you received it and where you met the person. Next, store them alphabetically by profession. Before you file them, use one of the many business card reader phone apps available to load the data into your contacts. Soon, you’ll have your own library of shareable contacts so when someone asks if you know a bookkeeper you’re on it in a flash! The ability to be efficiently helpful is invaluable.
3. Develop Your Own Unique Elevator Pitch.
This is the spiel that teases listeners into wanting more information about your business. Whatever you do, don’t start this sentence with, “I help people…” Everybody does this. How are you going to stand out doing what everyone else does? Try one of these…
“Clients appreciate my ability to…”
“People like the way I…”
“Customers are relieved after I’ve…”
In these examples, your clients are first and you’re second. Isn’t that the subliminal message you want to convey? Immediately, the person you’re talking to knows who is important in your world.
Impatience is a killer in business.
It takes time to build the relationships that lead to business opportunities. If you meet someone of interest at a networking event, organise a future date in a quieter location so you can develop a fuller understanding of their business and how you may be able to work together. Taking a longer term view removes the hard-sell mentality that scares many potential clients away.