Attending networking events all week? And next week looks the same? First evaluate what you expect to benefit from these networking events: sales leads, actual client prospects, community recognition for your brand, professional development. All have value and there are many locations to get these: local Chambers of Commerce, eWomenNetwork, professional women’s groups, and industry specific groups, just off the top of my head.
Whatever you are looking for, be sure to focus your attention an the meeting and people. Take advantage of those meetings with structured networking. Listen. finding out about other businesses really helps to connect you to future leads or finding ways to help others, even if it doesn’t benefit you at this moment, will likely lead to reciprocation. The eWomenNetwork has this strong philosophy to work collaboratively: give first, share always.
Whatever reason you go for be sure to follow up.
- If you had a solution and promised to send more details or connect them to someone or whatever, follow up and provide that promised information quickly.
- If you collected business cards, reach out to them by acknowledging your meeting and then offer to connect and see how you can help them. Don’t “sell” anybody. I once had a fella call me to walk me through his website for his product. He had a very rehearsed pitch. And it was insulting. I know how to find a website and know what to look for. Totally disregarded my time and didn’t verify if I had any interest in the product. I didn’t. I felt like I needed a shower after talking to him.
- Check your internal list of priorities and why you attended. Did you learn something new? Meet a good lead? Assure your company had visibility? If you didn’t achieve any of your goals, follow up on your goals. Make sure the reason you didn’t succeed didn’t relate to something you didn’t do or could have done better. If you did what you wanted and didn’t get the desired result, review whether or not you need to make the commitment to attend this event.