As Chief Chatting Officer for Business in Heels, everyday I connect with business owners who have a great business idea, a fantastic concept or a magnificent solution.  It’s wonderful!  They are providing a product or service the market requires, motivated to do an awesome job and genuinely care about their customers.  However, they are also struggling to get out of their comfort zone and let sufficient potential customers know they exist.  They just want to sit back and have business come to them.  Well, don’t we all!  But that is not how it works.  If this description resonates, well, read on to discover 7 reasons you should attend business networking events…

Cost-effective Exposure.  Successful business people are not hiding behind keyboards.  They are out there mixing with others, making connections and winning clients.  To be in the race, you need to be visible in the business community.  Compared with other forms of marketing, networking events are affordable, strategic and focussed on delivering results if you know how to follow the networking process.  To yield the best results, attendance should be regular.  After all, you don’t just hear one ad for McDonalds on the radio just before lunch do you?  Regular attendance cements you in the minds of others.  That’s where you want to be.

Networking is a numbers game.  There are no guarantees in networking in terms of when you will make the connections that result in business opportunities.  This means you need to increase your chances of success by improving your method.  This will accelerate the trust building process and result in better outcomes.  

Relationships are the bedrock of successful businesses.  These days, customers and potential business collaborators need to know, like and trust you before they will consider doing business or partnering with you.  All this is founded on a trusting relationship that produces mutual benefit.  

Networking events are focal points for the business community.  They enable the maintenance of relationships, new introductions, education and marketing opportunities.  Every business needs these to prosper.

If you play your cards right, business networking events provide the perfect forum for others to recommend your services.  They provide a convivial atmosphere where natural conversations occur and attendees feel comfortable to make referrals and recommendations.  This is the purpose of successful networking and means you can avoid doing what everyone hates – selling yourself.  Remember, the referral process is built on trust and trust takes time. 

The business focussed conversations at networking events stimulate ideas.  Listen to learn and contribute to educate others.

Education is a cornerstone of a business focussed networking event.  There are many widely accepted strategies, practices and conventions in business which your Branch Director and other speakers can assist with.  Attend with an open mind, jot down notes and put the information applicable to you into practice.  Here’s a tip – the people providing the education make excellent coffee date partners.  So organise one!

So, get out there and get mingling!  Yes, I know it’s comfortable behind the keyboard but that’s just not where the action that counts takes place.