Yes, online business building is pretty accessible now but maybe, you prefer speaking to people on a one-to-one basis. Do you feel your business would be more suited to standing together in a room and letting people experience your personality? Are more of your people, your ideal clients offline?
In which case, offline networking may just work for you.
The thing about networking is that you are never just speaking to the people you can see in the room, you are speaking to everyone they know so never enter any networking situation (online or offline) with the intention to sell only to the people there in front of you. That is one sure way to put everyone off you and your business.
Go with the intention of helping, serving, being a resource and also asking for the business.
Here are a few things to consider when growing your business through business networking.
- Type Of Networking
There are different ways to do business networking. You can do it with a structured event; where you go into a meeting with other business owners of different types. Some events allow the same types of businesses to exist in one group. Others will only allow one set of the same business type. And there will be an order to it from start to finish. It can be fairly scripted and there may be lots of rules or few rules. The idea is to give each other referrals. And maybe to sell to the people in the room if they get to know, like and trust you.
Then there are events that you go to for the purpose of making direct relationships with your ideal customer who you think is in the room. These can be community events, charity events, pub crawls, parent and child groups or groups where people who have a particular condition or circumstance congregate. You can join these groups to get to know more people but of course be tasteful about the way you approach your business. And because networking is something that is just tacked onto the main purpose of the event, you may find that people are not in the mood to talk business. See it as relationship building with the hope of converting it to business as you meet up again outside of that event.
- Plan Your ‘What do You Do?’ Talk
Be prepared before you walk into the room and make sure you have ready an explanation of what you do and who you do it for. Lead with a question that your ideal people cannot help but say ‘yes’ to and then go on from there. Prepare and practise this numerous times. Ask the people in your world if it sounds compelling – They may not be your people but they can tell you if you are likely to get the attention of the right people. You may think you are talking clearly about your business but sometimes, you may find that you talk the way of all the people in your industry and so you end up not getting your message across clearly. Make sure it passes the ‘must be understood by an 8 year old’ test.
- Be prepared to do a Talk
One of the best ways to get seen is to be the speaker for the event. This gives you massive credibility with the people listening particularly if you plan a talk that hits all the right spots. Sometimes, it is just a case of being prolific and doing talks in as many places as you can. You will find that if you make it a motto the first year of doing business networking to find places to speak, you may just get to the point where your business is always overflowing with new customers, clients and distributors.
If you want more tips on how to grow your business, then join in the free online workshop by clicking here – Free Workshop