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Networking or Notworking - 10 ways to plan and follow up

Posted in , on Feb 18, 2019

Even before I set up my own business, I have always networked. It works for me for two reasons:

I have a plan before I go in. 

I make sure I follow up after. 

Here I share what I do to get the most out of networking:

To doo:

  1. Arrive on time - aim to get there a few minutes before it starts so you are less hassled and one they will remember as they walk in. Beats walking into a crowd when they are all chatting. 

  2. Know the attendance list - find out who is attending, go through the list and plan who you want to talk to before the event. If there are 20 on the list, then aim to talk to 5 for example, those that are either client or referral potential.

  3. Not know the attendance list - know the types of businesses you can help or good referrers for your business. Link to those in the room who fit into your categories. Make a note to talk to them before or after the meeting with a friendly introduction so they remember you amongst everyone else. 

  4. Make an impression - if you get chance to do a 60 second introduction, make it memorable! Tell them who you can help and how. Craft your introduction so they take notice and want to introduce themselves at the end.

  5. Be friendly and relevant - put people at ease, ask relevant questions and listen for the answers which will help form your follow up actions.

  6. Keep to your promise - if you promise to follow up a conversation, make sure you do. Plan it before by blocking time in your diary for afterwards. Give yourself an hour to make sure follow ups get done.

  7. LinkIn - make the most of the opportunity and LinkIn with those you have met. Grow your network with a friendly ‘good to meet you’ and suggest if you can help them in any way to get back in touch.  

  8. Book 121’s - a great follow up gesture to get to know their business more and find ways to help each other.

  9. Don’t sell - use the time to get to know people and for them to like you before you do anything like try to sell!

  10. Don’t take flyers - it looks like you came to sell. Good quality (repeat, good quality) business cards are fine. If they want more, set up a 121 or telephone follow up.

These work for me and I have done it like this for years. If you would like help with networking, get in touch for a Marketing Takeaway. We can use the time to plan and get the most out of your next networking event. Book in on 0113 869 0107.