Having business cards ready, preparing interesting conversation topics and maintaining contacts maximize the effect of networking. A study by the Young Entrepreneurs highlighted not long ago that 90% of those attending networking events get opportunities of interest to their business. Expanding our network of contacts is essential to growing the business and, although networking events are becoming more common, there are opportunities to establish contacts everywhere: work breakfasts, conferences, and even sporting events. Before attending any event in which networking can be done, it is important to be prepared, following these tips:
The literal meaning of networking could be “work chain”, which makes it very clear what this activity is for. Therefore, here are some recommendations for you to make the most of your networking meetings, especially if you are a newbie entrepreneur. One tip is to always carry your business cards with you and to get them professionally designed from business card printing services.
I recommend that you look for this type of meeting in events related to the sector in which you plan to venture. That will give you the possibility of finding partners, clients, advisors, mentors and maybe even financing.
1. Do not forget your business card.
I recommend that you always carry a good amount of business cards. Although the digital age allows you to contact virtually anyone, business cards are still an opportunity to approach a person and chat with them for a few minutes. Make sure you carry your business cards at all times and use them. Keep them in an easily accessible place and keep the cards that are delivered to you separately from yours. It is very unprofessional to search through a stack of cards until you find your own. Getting a business card printing service should be on top of your to-do list.
2. Have your unique point of sale ready.
A single point of sale is the best product or service you offer, which sets you apart from the competition. When you meet someone for the first time and they ask you about your business, it is the perfect opportunity to give them an idea of what you offer and be their first choice when thinking about buying or investing.
3. Go prepared with interesting conversation topics.
Learn what happens in the world and in the city where the event is held and pay attention to current issues and trends. Knowing the events that are emerging in the community, listening to the person who is speaking and trying to get into the topics of conversation are also recommended practices.
4. Show interest.
If you let the person with whom you are talking the talk about yourself, you will be remembered as a good conversationalist, even if you speak little. Smile at the other person, do not look elsewhere and always try to leave the conversation at a high point so that the interlocutor wants more.
5. Maintain regular contact.
Maintaining contact with the people you have met at networking events is vital. The call or email prepares a conversation, in which you can provide articles or data of the industry of your interest. It is also possible to take advantage of important dates such as Christmas and send a greeting card. Striving to maintain relationships means focusing on long-term benefits because you never know when you may need information or assistance from your network of friends, colleagues and business owners.
Within the entrepreneurial ecosystem, networking has increasingly become one of the most effective ways for entrepreneurs to meet people who can help them boost their projects.
It is a social tool very promoted and used by all those who somehow participate and integrate the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Incubators, accelerators, coworking companies, among others, constantly organize events where networking sessions are included.
6. Prepare your pitch
It is important that you always carry your “pitches”, i.e. your speeches to launch your idea or project to anyone in a short time. The design of your pitch is important so that you can capture the attention of people in a matter of seconds, especially of potential investors. I recommend that you look for courses to design your pitch or, failing that, look for advice on the Internet.
If you have prototypes of your product or courtesies of your services, take them with you. Remember that making the experience of your product or service, life can help arouse the interest of those attending the event.
7. Present well
Develop animated and very short presentations (between one and two minutes) that you can easily show on mobile devices such as cell phones or tablets.
If this is the first time you do networking, you will probably get nervous. Quiet, everyone goes to those meetings to the same, that is, to talk with all the attendees. Do not be afraid to approach anyone and introduce yourself. Give your card and talk. Certainly, at some point, they will approach you.
Try not to stay more than 10 minutes with a person (unless you are very interested in continuing to talk with her), so you can talk with the largest number of attendees. The more conversations you make, the more opportunities you will have to find interesting people for your business or entrepreneurial project.
8. Dress right
The dress code in networking meetings is still important, although it is not decisive to get something interesting for your business or project. Try to investigate the type of clothing that you should wear according to the event and place. But if for some reason you could not iron your suit, do not limit yourself, what matters is that you be present and listen to you.
How to increase the number of meetings at the event?
Knowing the mobile phone numbers of participants will help. Let’s say I want to make an appointment with a person, but I don’t know if he has an invitation. What to do? Assign.
The correct invitation uses all the data to establish contact with the participant and inform that they want to meet with him. If the mobile phone is in the database, an SMS message will be sent to it. Statistics say that even if the invitation was not given, 64% of all appointments made via SMS successfully took place. For email reminders, this figure is lower – 21%.
In addition, many people to whom the system sent SMS as an invitation continue to actively participate in networking themselves – SMS contains a link where you can verify that you will attend in one click because mobile numbers are very important.
People come to the network events to get acquainted and make connections, and technology removes unnecessary barriers between people and helps to find common terms. There remains the gratitude of the participants for a quality day and new open opportunities, just what we are trying for.