Author Topic: 3 Smart Networking Strategies to Use at Your Next Event  (Read 1843 times)


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3 Smart Networking Strategies to Use at Your Next Event
« on: June 26, 2019, 10:09:52 AM »
3 Smart Networking Strategies to Use at Your Next Event

1. Listen and then ask the right questions
The golden rule at a networking event, or any other business interaction for that matter is to listen more than you talk. This is classic sales stuff that everyone should know. If you think about the really successful people in your life, are they very chatter boxes or are they listeners? I would think the latter. Do they ask the right questions? I would think they probably do.
You will only reach success when you understand what other people really want. Sometimes you will get people asking for your services but not knowing exactly why. This is your job to listen and make sure they know their reasons for it and what they are trying to achieve. If you think about it, what salesperson would you buy a camera from; the one talking at you and selling feature after feature, or the other one asking what you are going to use it for?Being an active listener and asking the right questions sounds like simple stuff but it can be harder to actually do. Active listening takes effort but when you do it the right questions will pop up and the payback is there.

2. Partner up with the competition
You will inevitably bump into people doing similar things to you at networking events. Instead of the Mexican stand-off which sometimes happens, try to find out where there can be synergies between the two of you.Let’s say that you sell ice-cream for instance and you get talking to another ice-cream salesperson. Do you work the same location? Do you sell the same flavors? Do your customers have the same demographic? Same pricing? Probably not on most of these questions. This means you can share information on suppliers, discuss general market conditions and you can even set up a joint venture and seek global ice-cream domination.If you are a solo-preneur, your success will depend on fitting into an eco system of other consultants and freelancers. Make yourself useful to them and help out as much as possible; your efforts are always appreciated and you will be repaid at some stage.You will invariably bump into and sometimes lock horns with the competition at client sites. The networking event provides a ‘safe’ environment where you can you can practise interaction with the competition without causing too much damage in front of a customer.

3. Hunters vs. farmers
We have all been there. You get chatting to someone with a big smile from ear to ear. They are hyper friendly and rather quickly state their business while scanning the room for their next prey. They hand over their business card and expect you to reciprocate; they then make an excuse and move on to the next person.This person will go home that night and count up the number of cards they got and more crucially, how many of their own cards they handed out. These people are called hunters, meaning they are only interested in a quick chat and exchanging cards. Study after study shows that this approach doesn’t work but some folks do it as handing out cards feels like an achievement.Farmers on the other hand, understand the value of knowing, liking and trusting people. They know that business relationships grow over time and they are prepared to bide their time.They say that all you need is twenty people in your network if you nurture it well. These twenty people may take many networking events to get right but the farmer knows that having a real connection with one person is much stronger than shallow chats with hundreds.In practical terms, when you start out on the networking circuit it’s probably difficult to know who’s who. When you see the same faces a few weeks in a row you’ll know who the farmers are – and where you need to put your energy. The fact that the farmers are laid back, very comfortable with networking and genuinely interested in people certainly will certainly help you on the way.