Are you finding yourself short on prospects to target?
Need more leads and don’t know where to find them?
Networking events are a great way to meet new people, and of course, get more business. These events are a great source of new business partners, customers, and friends.
So how do you get started and how do you get the most out of a networking event. A big misconception is that most people go to these events to try and sell their services or products to other event attendees. This is completely the opposite of what you should do in order to get the most out of a networking event.
There are many business to business (B2B) and after-hour events that take place locally. These are usually held by local organizations focused on promoting events and bringing businesses together. In most of these events, you can even rent a booth or table to better showcase what you have to offer. The cost of renting a table usually runs between $100=$350 depending on the venue. You can start by contacting your local Chamber of Commerce to find out more.
You do not, however, have to be an exhibitor in order to get the most out of these events. The whole idea of a networking event is to meet new people. So by simply going to these events, you can get the most out of them with minimum out of pocket expense. Some events will charge $10-$20 cover fee to attendees, others are completely free. There are some organizations which claim to be a member based association and will charge upwards of $1000 per year for membership. Be weary of these organizations and it’s best to stay away. There’s no need to spend a ton of money to go to a networking event.
If there are no networking events in your area, you can certainly start your own. Whether you setup a small special interest group or invite local businesses in your area, you can easily promote your event through many online networks such as meetup.com for example.
Here are 20 tips to get the most out of your next networking event:
1. Don’t try to sell your product or service.
2. Let the other person spend the time to explain to you what they have to offer.
3. Always compliment their products, services, and their person.
4. Let the other person do most of the talking.
5. Get as many business cards as you can.
6. Build business alliances, not customers.
7. Each business alliance you build could serve as a bridge to many more customers.
8. Put a small number on each business card from 1-5. (1 not so good, 5 very good)
9. Use a CRM system to store all the business card that you have collected.
10. Send email follow ups to all the people that you met at each event.
11. Create a follow up strategy to continue pursuing your prospects on an on-going basis.
12. You need to touch each person at least 8 times before most will do any type of business with you.
13. Make sure to follow up hot prospects with a phone call.
14. Serve as a business matchmaker, offer some leads to your new business alliances. They will return the favor.
15. If you go to a lot of events, invite other networkers to the other events.
16. Dress professionally and always remember to bring your business cards.
17. Engage every person that comes close to you.
18. Remember to use a firm hand-shake to show confidence.
19. Smile, smile, smile!
20. Go to as many events as you can.
Remember, networking events are a great way to meet people, but don’t loose focus on your ultimate purpose, which is to make some business. Each person you meet can be the gateway to 10 more referrals which in turn can refer you another 10 each. So if you thought you where short on prospective customers, think again. Start going to some networking events and see your prospect list soar.
At CRMBOOST we offer the tools to help get the most out of these events. We make it very easy to follow up with everyone you meet. All you have to do is create a drip marketing campaign prior to each event, enter all the business cards into your CRM, put them all into a drip campaign and let CRMBOOST do the rest of the job. While you simply focus on getting more business cards into the system, CRMBOOST continuously works behind the scenes keeping you in touch with every single contact you submit on an on-going basis.
Stop the chase and turn the tables around. Get more customers to call you and not the other way around. This system allows for easy and simple duplication of process, so you can easily expand your marketing strategy with others in your organization.
Want to be a superstar on your next Networking Event?
Show other how you automate your networking event follow up activities with your CRM and Email marketing. Share how they can also take advantage of this system. Your knowledge and ingenuity will amaze most networkers since most are still working these events on pen and paper. They will be glad you showed them and hopefully will return the gratitude by sending business your way.
Start networking your way to more business!