You are thinking of attending a great networking event where you will meet a ton of great contacts.Want a guaranteed ROI the next time you attend a networking event? Do you have a plan of action? If you fail to plan, you plan to fail! Below are 5 Tips you should put into practice when you attend any networking event to get the most value for your time! Many people attend networking events and then don't act on the great contacts they met. By following these easy steps, you'll be a networking genius in no time.
1. Don't Let Those Business Cards Collect Dust It's easy to go to a networking event and put the business cards in your pocket or purse and never look at them again. However, this defeats the whole purpose of attending the event in the first place. You must act on making the most of your new connections and do so within 24 hours of attending the event. If you procrastinate, you run the risk of your new connection forgetting who you are. Your new contacts will also be impressed you took the time to reach out to them so soon after your introduction.
2. Show Your Value To New Contacts People are more likely to want to connect with you if they think there's something advantageous to them in making a connection with you. Think of always creating a Win-Win scenario. Therefore, it's probably best to build a relationship with your new connection rather than straight out asking the person for a referral or job right away. Perhaps you discussed a shared interest or some other timely topic. Share additional information with your new contact by sending a link to an article you recently read about that topic. If you stay in the person's short-term memory, he/she will be likely to contact you when there's a job opening in your field or a business opportunity.
3. Remember It's Not All About You Continuing with the value-added theme, some of the best networkers put their own personal motives aside to connect other people. This can take place at the networking event or afterwards, but try to make connections between the people who you have recently met. This also helps with remembrance because both people will remember you as the person who connected them.
4. Realize Technology Is Your Friend One of the easiest ways to stay in touch with a contact is to connect with the person on Social Media. For example on LinkedIn: instead of sending the boring form message, type in a few sentences about the networking event you just attended and a snippet from your conversation. People have an easier time remembering your meeting if you remind them where you met and what you talked about.
5. Plan For Your Next Networking Event Networking is not a one-time thing. You should try to constantly expand your network and improve upon your networking skills. The more you practice networking, the better you will become with this skill. Business Women Connect offers a membership platform like no other! Our idea is to create organic, automated networking channels between members regardless of location or service. BWC members can bridge gaps within their business with more connections. Check it out today!
Shelly Aristizabal is the new President of Business Women Connect. She is a seasoned business coach, advisor and speaker who helps entrepreneurs network to success. Learn more about Shelly and her recently published book This Is Your Year at BusinessWomenConnect.com, ShellyAristizabal.com & HealthyLivingConcierge.com.