Networking is an important aspect of you marketing plan. Networking is considered to be the best way to get your name out there. In order to ensure that you are making the most of your networking efforts, master these tips and characteristics of an Xtraordinary Networker.
Tip 1 – Set a Goal
It is important to set a goal before you attend an networking event, online and offline. Why are you attending? What would you like to achieve. Are you looking for a new supplier, website designer or social media specialist? Set a goal of making at least 3 new meaningful business connections.
Tip 2 – Help Others
When you are a resource and helpful to others, they are more like to remember and recommend you. For example, send them a relevant article, link to a useful website, recommendation for a book to read, etc. It also creates an opportunity to follow up with them. Refer a person that can help them in their business. People will remember your resourcefulness and you will stay top of mind.
Tip 3 – Don’t JUST sell!
Don’t go with the mindset of “What can I sell today?” Be of a “Service Mindset” first. Offer help first and they are more likely return the favour in the future.
Tip 4 – Follow Up
You have 48 hours to follow up, or you will be forgotten. If you promised to send someone an article, your pricing, or link to an article, don’t forget to do so. It is best to do this as soon as you get back from the networking event, or if this is not possible, first thing the next morning.
Have a good Follow up System (E-Mail Marketing Program) – we recommend a professional mailing program to do this (MailChimp, Flodesk etc.), which gives people an option to opt-in to your newsletter. Send a follow up email after the event reminding them who you are and what you discussed and an option to sign up to your newsletter, should they want to receive updates from you.
Tip 5 – Do It Often!
Networking needs to form part of your business plan and strategy for the year. Networking is not a once-off affair! Attending ONE networking event is not going to help you be top of mind if someone is looking for someone in your industry. Consistency is key to stay top of mind!
Characteristics Of An Xtraordinary Networker
An Xtraordinary Networker:
- Is warm and approachable.
- Cares about others and has a “service-orientated” mindset and does not have a “what’s in it for me” mindset. Always think of how you can be of service to others. Being helpful will always find its way back to you, in some way or another and often in ways that you would not expect.
- Has an honest desire to make a different in their community.
- Is always willing to offer assistance and recommend resources, service providers etc.
- Connects people – Connecting others is the highest form of networking.
- Tunes themselves into opportunities and facilitates introductions.
- Looks at what people do separately and envision how people can do things together and perhaps create partnerships.
- Keeps learning and has a desire to be the best they can be at networking.
- Finds opportunities for other people – When you do this, they are inclined to want to pay you back as you made a difference in their lives.
- Is credible and trustworthy. You need to be credible and people must trust you, if you want referrals from them.
- Always behaves with honour and integrity.
- Is a good listener. Listen to people’s needs and pain points and find opportunities to help them. This ties in with the “be of service” mindset. You are unable to help people if you don’t know what it is that they are looking for. This can only be done if you listen! Listen twice as often as you speak!
- Has a positive attitude. Have a positive attitude in all your interactions with people. A consistently negative person drives away referrals. Everyone wants to be around a positive person!
Let me know if these tips were useful and I share YOUR best networking tip with us.