Are You Getting the Best Return on Your Networking Investment?
Dear <<First Name>>
Networking is a very effective way of promoting your business and meeting the right people. Whether you’ve just started going to networking meetings, or you’ve been doing it for years, you need to think about how you do it and how to get the best return from your investment of time and money.
This newsletter looks at what you can do before, during and after each networking meeting to make them really productive. There’s also an invitation to a free networking meeting, so read on!
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Are You Getting the Best Return on Your Investment?
If you’ve recently started attending networking meetings, you need a checklist to remind you what to do, until it becomes second nature. If you’ve been networking for years, it can be easy to forget the basics, so a checklist will be helpful for you too.
First you need to do some preparation, so that you arrive at meetings in the right frame of mind.
Before you go …
- Make sure you have plenty of good quality business cards that make a good first impression.
- Keep your smile and positive attitude in the car, ready to use. If you wake up not wanting to go to that networking breakfast, then don’t go – it could do your reputation more harm than good.
- Be low maintenance. Have the right money and plan your journey to turn up on time. If you book and can’t make it, let the organiser know with a quick text.
- Prepare some company literature to hand out – business cards, fliers for a special offer or a banner.
- If you have the opportunity to stand up and introduce yourself then plan what you’re going to say. Practise it so you can say it without rushing or referring to notes.
Planning your networking before you go helps you to attend the right meetings and make the right impression. Next ...
During the meeting …
- Get your smile out of the car and put it on!
- When someone asks you a question, answer it and then ask “And how about you?” This puts the focus on them and lets you find out more about them.
- Move on. Don’t spend all your time speaking to the same people. If you get stuck with them, introduce them to others and then politely excuse yourself.
- Less is more! If you’re given a minute to present your business, finish well before time, rather than rushing to cram too much in.
- Be interested and be interesting.
Thinking about what you're doing while you're networking will help you use your networking time more effectively. But it doesn't stop when you leave the room, because ...
After the meeting …
- Follow up! Send a quick e-mail or make a call to the people that you’ve spoken to. This doesn’t mean adding everyone on the list to your database!
- Go regularly. Spend time meeting the same people to really get to know them and their business. Develop trusting relationships with them.
- Keep in touch. Connect with people that you’ve met on LinkedIn and ask them if they’d like to receive your e-mail newsletter.
- Log the business that you get from different networking meetings. Keep going to the ones that work and don’t go to the ones that don’t. Measure the return on investment that you’re getting.
- Think about what you’ve learned from each meeting that you attend. What went well? What will you do differently next time?
Follow these tips and you’ll get a much better return on your networking investment.
There’s also a video on our website that you can watch that gives you more networking tips. Click here to watch it.
Free Networking in Surrey
In March we launched the Adhere Training Club in Surrey. This club is for businesses that want to provide great training to their staff for one cost effective monthly membership fee. Members can also attend our free monthly networking meetings, where they can meet others who have attended our training events, so they can hold each other to account for the actions that they developed at the end of the workshop. This really makes the training stick and helps members to get a better return on their investment.
At each networking meeting we also hear from experts on topics such as PR, marketing, social media, finance for small business or how to improve your sales.
I’d like to invite you to our next free networking meetings, which are on 7 April 2014 and 12 May 2014. To book your place, just click here to email me. Take a look at our website to see the full range of courses and topics.
We look forward to seeing you there!