A lot of people attend business networking events with the expectation of meeting people who will, upon a handshake, suddenly want to do business with them. We don’t want to burst your bubble, guys, but aah… that’s not how it works.
The purpose of attending networking events is to plan coffee dates with people whom interest you. It’s that simple. You’re not there to sell anything. If you think you’re there to sell your products or services then you’ve missed a vital piece of the puzzle. You’re there to meet interesting people and make decisions about whom to further relationships with. Always remember that. You see, even if you sell fragrant and affordable soap and a few people at a networking event buy some, their purchases and the frequency of them will not sustain your business. You should be at the event to meet that special someone, say, who knows a shopkeeper who may stock your soap, or someone who knows how to develop awesome transactional websites so you can set and forget to concentrate on other aspects of your business.
At Business in Heels events, there are two obvious ways to accelerate the process of creating coffee date opportunities if you wish to participate, but these are not essential. The first is the 1 minute introduction and the second is the 5 Minute Spotlight Presentation. To varying degrees, each will promote general discussion about who you are and what you do so they are simple and effective ways to make yourself approachable to others at the event.
To get to the stage where coffee dates are a regular part of your networking strategy, be sure you attend various events – not just Business in Heels events! (Wonderful though they are!) Get around to BNIs, other women’s groups, chambers of commerce or whatever else is in your neighbourhood. In their own way, each is a valuable source of potential coffee dates.
Remember, attend these with the intention of making coffee dates – not selling. Next week we’ll work on who to mingle with so the subsequent coffee date is more likely to be productive. Be sure to check out the detailed training package on this which is part of the The Business Building Program.
(learn more about coffee dates)